This is a special Daniel Medvedev in Roland-Garros. Nobody is talking about him. Few more expect anything from him. Until it has to be mentioned. Still. Djokovic. Alcaraz. Tsitsipas. Zverev. These are the areas of interest and conversation that will start at the beginning of the tournament in the men’s draw. For a moment, everyone would forget that the Russian was there, chained at the bottom of the table. Number 2 seeded, but candidate number 15 or 20 at best.
Last year he did the “if I win the game, I’ll be happy” trick. He went to the quarter-finals where Stefanos Tsitsipas briefly stopped him. Before the 2022 edition, there were even fewer in the crosshairs. The spring operation kept him away from the pitch, limiting his preparation for Roland to one game, losing to Richard Gasquet in Geneva a week just before the game at Porte d’Auteuil. It was a priori little, too little, to hope to play any role in Paris, especially for a non-clay specialist like him.
I’m not sure if I can play better on dirt
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As a result, he is already in week two without losing a single set, and his Saturday’s 1/8 final against Miomir Kecmanovic is probably the most successful match of his career on this surface. “If we are talking about today’s gamecommented on the departure of the Suzanne-Lenglen court, yes, I played like a good dugout. I’m not sure if I can play better on clay. But I still have to work hard to deserve this earthly status“.
On the track, his opponents also find it difficult to consider him a really good clay player like Kecmanovic, who admitted he did not expect to see Medvedev in “hard” mode. He doesn’t take offense. He understands and in a way is not far from thinking that this is an asset for him:
“I’m sure people say, “Daniil on the cop, maybe I can get the biggest jackpot of my career because you can’t beat the Top 5 every day! In cop, everyone believes in their chances against me. But during the game it is fantastic for me because you can surprise and disturb them there.“.
Daniil Medvedev – Roland-Garros 2022.
Surprised ? Yes and no
And he himself, is he surprised that he has been walking like this for the last eight days? Yes and no. “Honestly, every time I play clay well it surprises me. So I’m a little surprised, but not that much, because I believe in myselfhe translates. I went to Geneva. I knew I wasn’t going to use my best tennis. But when I came here for training, I felt it was working well“.
Then he physically worked hard to make up for lost time in April / May:After the match against Richard, I felt really tired. But I’ve been working a lot in the field, working on high-intensity sets during training. I feel good there. So I’m not that surprised. ” If he had any concerns when he started his tournament, he swept them away. “Now I have three leg games, plus one against Richard in Geneva, so I totally found the rhythm“.
Should we take it seriously now? Yes. Until what point? Since he has sent out so many negative messages about his relationship with the cop in recent years, as if he decided it was not for him, as he is only considered a player there among many others, he is almost stuck in considering the Russians as a candidate for everything here.
At the bottom, everything seems possible
However, the hypothesis about the presence of Daniil Medvedev at the Philippe-Chatrier court next Sunday, if not yet the most credible, does not seem entirely absurd. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev are preparing to win the only ticket to the final. A chair for four, the tournament’s three biggest favorites and one of the top two outsiders.
If he were to reach the last four, the world’s number 2 tournament would already be a huge success, in absolute terms for his relationship with clay and in the context of this spring of 2022. But he refuses to reason. Yes: “For example, at the Australian Open, I made two finals when I didn’t always feel that I was playing very well. Even with my worst tennis, hard tennis, I feel like I can win. Here last year I thought I was playing really well and still lost in quarters. This is what I want to change“. This is not really a speech by a tourist who may be satisfied with the journey.
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