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Medvedev a potential title winner in Australia – Eye of the Coach #35

In episode # 35 of Eye of the Coach, Patrick Mouratoglou breaks down what makes Daniil Medvedev such a difficult player to face and why he’s much more lethal today than he was two years ago.

February 15, 2021
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The figures

In Eye of the Coach, Episode 35, Patrick Mouratoglou explains why Russia’s Daniil Medvedev should be counted among the title contenders in week two on the men’s side at the 2021 Australian Open. Mouratoglou points out the adaptation that Medvedev has made over the last few seasons, and highlights his transformation into a more aggressive, attacking player.

“I completely understand why people can see Daniil Medvedev as a potential winner,” Mouratoglou says of the 24-year-old Russian.

Daniil Medvedev, Australian Open, 2021

Old Medvedev vs New Medvedev 

How has Medvedev adapted his game over the last few years and what makes him able to compete so well with the game’s elite players? Mouratoglou says it is his aggressiveness.

“The progress he’s made these last years… he was unable to attack, he was using the pace extremely well, covering the court incredibly well, but he was suffering to create pace himself,” Mouratoglous says. “Now he can attack, especially with his forehand.” 

“He attacks more with the forehand,” Mouratoglou said. “His forehand is really aggressive now. The difference between the old Medvedev and the new Medvedev is the old Medvedev was a nightmare to play when you were giving him rhythm, very difficult to put out of position, and at some point when you play Medvedev you feel like ‘I cannot hit a winner, this guy is everywhere’ … Now if the player slows down, he is attacking – that’s why he’s so difficult to play.” 

Only one weakness

Mouratoglou believes that Medvedev’s game is still not perfect. The coach says he still isn’t comfortable handling low balls inside the court.

“His weakness is on the short, low balls,” Mouratoglou said. “He hates, for example, slice on the service line, because he has to move inside the court and he can’t attack the ball, because he doesn’t have this topspin, so he basically pushes the ball and he is in the worst situation, because he is in the middle of the court, this place that we like to call no-mans land.” 

“But that’s almost his only weakness, because he’s serving well, he is returning all the time. I completely understand how players hate to play him – they feel like he’s going to miss every shot and he never misses – they can’t find a way to hit a winner against him.” 

Gilles Simon  2.0?

When it comes to game style, Mouratoglou compares Medvedev to veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon. But he’s quick to add that Medvedev’s weaponry makes him a more dangerous version.

“I would compare him to Gilles Simon, in type of tennis, Mouratoglou said. I would say that the difference between Gilles Simon and Daniil Medveev is that Daniil is much more aggressive so he finds a way to shorten the rallies also.”

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