“I’m always going to make your life difficult” – Medvedev on his approach against top tier talent

Daniil Medvedev explained the competitive philosophy that makes him a threat to win the sports’ biggest titles

Medvedev 2024 Wimbledon | Action Plus / Panoramic Medvedev 2024 Wimbledon | Action Plus / Panoramic

Daniil Medvedev. Fighter. The two words go hand-in-hand, and the Russian’s willingness to approach the sport like a boxer who is always contemplating his next punch, or a chess players who always has a new move waiting in the wings, is what makes the former No 1 a steady force at the top of the game.

Take, for instance, today’s quarter-final clash against Jannik Sinner. After winning the first six matches in the pair’s head-to-head, Medvedev had dropped the last five to the Italian. Surely the odds were stacked against him as he prepared to face the world No 1 on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, where he was seen as a second-tier title contender, not exactly on par with the likes of Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and – of course – Novak Djokovic.

Think again.

Medvedev, like he demonstrated last year, when he stunned defending champion Carlos Alcaraz out of the US Open in the semi-finals, is never far from his next massive win. After his 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 upset over Sinner, he told reporters that he prides himself on this quality. He may be ranked behind the aforementioned names, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have what it takes to take them out on the biggest stages of the sport.

“For me it was important to come out today and show that, look, we going to play probably many more times if we are both on tour, probably semis, quarters, finals, whatever,” Medvedev said. “For me it was important to just show I’m always going to be there, I’m always going to fight, I’m always going to try to make your life difficult.

“Maybe you’re going to win more; maybe I’m going to win more. I don’t know, but I’m going to fight.”

Medvedev said that he didn’t dwell too much on the potential outcome. He just wanted to bring the fight to sinner. And he plans to do the same when he faces defending champion Alcaraz in the semi-finals on Friday.

“Even if he won today, the goal was to show him that every time I’m going to be there to fight and to win,” he said. “Today I managed to do it. Doesn’t mean that next time is going to be the same.

“That’s a little bit the attitude. That’s the same with Carlos last year in US Open. That’s going to be same with Carlos in couple of days. To be honest, that’s always my goal to know that whoever comes against me, they can win, they can lose. It’s going to be a tough fight. It’s going to be a great match, great for fans, great for me, great for my opponent.”

Medvedev, who improved to an impressive 18-5 lifetime at Wimbledon with his win, still believes that he has more Grand Slam titles in him. He’ll push for a second this week and leave everything on the court in the process. What’s not to like about that?

“I try my best. I fight my best,” he said. “Hopefully I can win some more Grand Slams. I believe in myself. I believe in my tennis. For me, it’s always important when I finish my career to have no regrets.”

Medvedev 2024 Wimbledon | Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic
Medvedev 2024 Wimbledon | Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic

Why we go crazy

Speaking of his clutch tennis late in the third set, when he saved two set points on serve and then snapped Sinner’s run of nine consecutive tiebreaks won, Medvedev said simply, tennis is crazy like that.

“In Australian Open I think fourth set I had a break point,” he said. “If I’m not mistaken, he made ace. If he makes double-fault, maybe I win Australian Open – you never know. That’s why people love tennis. That’s why people get crazy watching tennis. That’s why we tennis players sometimes get crazy playing tennis.”

Speaking of that loss to Sinner in Australia, from two sets down, Medvedev said he wasn’t thinking about it at all today. And it showed, as he dominated the fifth and never blinked as he closed out the win.

“Mentally it was a good match today because I actually didn’t think about the match in Australia,” he said. “I was not before the fifth set, ‘Oh, my God, it’s again five sets!’ No, I was there to fight, to do my best. Was only thinking about it in a good way to prepare tactically.”

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