April 18, 2024

Exclusive Interview with Medvedev for Kurir

3 min read

Setu bypassed the first obstacle of the year in Melbourne, a challenge that he did not hide from making the match against French qualifier Atman more complicated from the very beginning. “It was much warmer on the court than here, for sure! (laughter) These were certainly not the toughest conditions I’ve played in, but the fact is that it hasn’t been sunny here for the past few days. Being exposed to the sun during training for a few hours is not enough to adapt to such conditions, so this heat in the match does affect your nerves a bit. I had a first-round opponent who is still not used to playing in a Grand Slam, so he was certainly in a tense state. In addition, the heat does not improve your physical condition, but the attitude towards it depends on the player. I’m glad that I managed to physically overpower him because it became quite challenging to endure at one point. Then he started cramping, which confirmed to me that he was also struggling – so my main task was to hang in there, and I advanced,” Medvedev explained.

When asked how he deals with playing against unfamiliar opponents or qualifiers when things get tough, considering that Novak said he doesn’t show it in his body language, and Rublev said he felt panic in the fifth set against Vilda, the Russian player said, “Yes, yes, I think it’s important to try to show as little of those feelings to the opponent through your body language, gestures, and overall behavior. If it happens, the main reason is fatigue or not being able to hide it anymore – or if something else has further frustrated you. In any case, it is important to try not to display it in any way because – well, today – five minutes before he started struggling with cramps, I started feeling a lot of fatigue. If I had shown him that at that time, maybe he would have managed to gather himself and stay in the game. The mind is the most powerful tool and weapon, but it also has variable effects. I try not to show almost anything to my opponents – and I think I’m mostly successful in that,” Medvedev said, and he shared a funny anecdote with his friend Andrei Rublev from Cincinnati last year.

“We played in Cincinnati, and it was that match when I kicked the camera out of frustration. He beat me then, playing at an extremely high level. It was a warm day, he was great, hitting some great volleys, and he really impressed me in his first victory over me. A few months later, we were talking about that match, where he tells me that he remembers it well, especially the moment when I kicked the camera – when he realized that it was time to play better because I was falling apart. Now, I also remember that match well – and besides that incident, I believe I played very well, and he certainly played better than usual. If that’s the case – I told myself – I will never do anything similar against you again because if that’s how you function – you won’t have the opportunity to motivate me like that again. So – it’s better to make an effort not to show how you feel in any way,” Danil recounted with a smile.

An interesting reason for the conversation with the tour supervisor was also mentioned. “During such a match, it is extremely important to hydrate properly. Despite my request to have non-chilled water available to me – the only water that was provided to us was ice-cold. When I asked the umpire for warmer water, they brought me hot water. How do you proceed then – without approaching the supervisor for intervention?” Medvedev shared this anecdote, concluding the conversation. His next opponent is the excellent Finn Emil Ruusuvuori.

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