Daniil Medvedev has labeled himself a ‘hard-court specialist’, but that doesn’t mean the World No. 3 isn’t looking for answers to develop his game on clay.
Known for his flat groundstrokes and all-court coverage, the 6’6” Medvedev moves exceptionally well. But a few challenges arise when it comes to the red dirt, specifically the unique movement. Heading into the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome, Medvedev has been critiquing his game to better suit the clay.
The 27-year-old also revealed a strategy he implements when competing on the surface.
“[Playing with] some more spin,” Medvedev said in his pre-tournament press conference. “Especially the sliding, I think the sliding was always a problem [for me]. After Madrid, after I lost, a couple days I practised there, I tried to focus on the sliding, on the movement. I felt like I improved in these couple of days.”
A four-time titlist this year, Medvedev arrives at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia boasting a 33-5 season record. Medvedev has been pleased with his form while practising in Rome and hopes to carry a high-level into the tournament.
“I feel great physically. Every day I’m trying to put [together a] strong session and try to work on small things with my coach,” Medvedev said. “It has been working great, so I’m looking forward to try and play the same in the matches because it’s never the same.
“These two days [practising], I was playing really good clay tennis. I was not missing many balls here these last two days. It was tough for my opponents. Again, you never know. I say all this, but maybe first match it’s not the case. But it’s good to have some good practice. I was really happy about it.”
Searching for a first win in Rome in his fourth appearance, Medvedev will open against Frenchman Ugo Humbert or World No. 43 Emil Ruusuvuori. The 19-time tour-level titlist is seeded to meet Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals. But you won’t catch Medvedev looking ahead in the draw.
“[I’m] looking forward to the tournament because [I’ve] never won a match [here],” Medvedev said. “So, that’s the first goal.”