By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Friday, May 26, 2023
It was the word Daniil Medvedev used over and over again to describe his feelings after winning the title of champion of Rome last week.
No. 2 seed Medvedev is also hoping that winning his first-ever clay court title bodes well for his chances at Roland Garros.
However, the charismatic Russian was quick to point out that he was not ahead of himself in thinking he could win in Paris right away.
“I don’t know (smile). Because in a way I also don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” Medvedev said. “But what happened in Rome was amazing, especially beating a lot of good players, you know: Zverev, Tsitsipas, Rune, Zapata Miralles, Ruusuvuori who played three sets against Alcaraz in Madrid.
Medvedev, whose best result at Roland Garros was reaching the quarter-finals in 2021, added:
“It’s an amazing feeling and I certainly have higher expectations than usual for Roland Garros,” said Medvedev. “But I know it’s also hard and you have to take a little bit of, you know, use that confidence, but don’t be cocky if we can say that because that’s where the danger is. Sometimes you think: Oh, well, I played so well, now it’s going to be easy.
“Then in the first round you have problems. You can get angry and possibly lose the match. I’ve been in that situation many times and I just want to try to play good tennis here at Roland Garros.”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 25, 2023
By capturing Rome, Medvedev changed the conversation about his chances in Paris.
This includes a move up to second in the rankings, putting him at the other end of the draw with top seed Carlos Alcaraz.
As for what made the difference for him this clay court season, Medvedev refused to attribute one mental or physical thing to being different from last year.
“I don’t have an answer because I don’t know. I would like to say that I changed everything mentally 100%,” said Medvedev. “But it’s not, you know. If I was feeling on clay like in years past, you’d probably get like lines to Tennis TV or whatever, for years to come.
Medvedev added, “I wonder if it’s the strings fault, I talk about it a lot and I don’t do it to promote it, but I really think it could help me on clay. I’ve said it before on hard courts that it can help me on clay, and maybe it did. But if not, I’m just happy and don’t think too much. I just want to try to continue on this path.
Medvedev will face the Brazilian eliminator Thiago Seyboth Wild in the first round.
Image credit: Getty