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“It means I was not good enough” – after seven consecutive top-10 losses, Daniil Medvedev vows to improve
The former world No 1 has been a hard luck loser for much of 2022, and he says he’ll do everything in his power to change the narrative in 2023.
Prior to the Australian Open final earlier this year, Daniil Medvedev had reeled off 20 wins in his last 27 matches against top-10 talent. With a two sets to love lead over Rafael Nadal in the final, the then world No 2 ended up losing a heartbreaker to the Spaniard – he has not earned a top-10 win since.
Ten months later, Medvedev has lost his last seven matches against the ATP’s top-10 talent. Though he’s still playing elite tennis, the 26-year-old has seemingly lost his finishing touch.
It means I was not good enough, and I have to be better.— Daniil Medvedev
Wednesday’s titanic struggle against Stefanos Tsitsipas was a perfect example. Leading 5-4 in the final set, on a fast-playing indoor hard court, Medvedev just needed to keep doing what he had done for the previous two sets: fire some big serves and serve out the win.
Instead, he imploded and lost his serve, then was dominated in the tiebreak by Tsitsipas, who notched his second victory over Medvedev in as many matches.
“Terrible to not serve it out, especially on such fast court,” Medvedev lamented to reporters.
Not good enough – Medvedev vows to turn it around
Another stat that sticks out like a sore thumb for Medvedev in 2022? His 4-9 record in deciding sets. Compare that with 23-9 across 2020 and 2021 and it’s obvious that the former world No 1 is having issues closing out victories.
Whatever the cause, Medvedev vows to be better.
“It means I was not good enough, and I have to be better,” he told reporters on Wednesday evening.
“Mentally, I don’t care. I don’t care if I play a top-10 or not. But tennis-wise it’s tougher to play a top-10 player. That means I have to play better tennis against these guys. That’s what I’m going to try to do next time because there is no other choice.”
Nerves not a factor
Medvedev was brilliant on Wednesday as he saved three match points in the second-set tiebreak, but he could not continue his magic into the third. He says that it wasn’t nerves that did him in.
“I didn’t really feel much nerves. I just had to play better, serve better,” he said. “I don’t know what to say else. I had to win the match, but I didn’t. So I have to do better next time. There is no other choice.”