The 'Cycle' Of Life: Can Medvedev Turn The Tables In Turin?

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2023

The ‘Cycle’ Of Life: Can Medvedev Turn The Tables In Turin?

With five titles and 64 match wins, 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champ says 2023 season has been perhaps his best yet

As he prepares for his fifth consecutive Nitto ATP Finals appearance, Daniil Medvedev has a score to settle. The world No. 3 went 0-3 last season in Turin, but that record tells just a small part of the story.

One year after winning two final-set tie-breaks in a runner-up finish at the season finale, Medvedev lost all three of his 2022 Turin matches in decisive tie-breaks — defeats against Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. But as a former champion, the 27-year-old is not too concerned about a repeat performance.

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“I feel definitely maybe a little bit less pressure, because before I won [the 2020 title], I lost three matches in a row,” he pointed out. “But the same time, tennis is such a… let’s call it a cyclic thing. Last year, I lost three matches, and three of them were really close in the decisive tie-break, I think two of them I was serving for the match. 

“So for sure this year coming there, I want to try to be better. And that’s exactly what happened a couple of years ago, when I managed to win it. So let’s hope it’s going to be the same story.”

Medvedev used last year’s misfortune as motivation for his offseason, and he quickly made amends in the early part of 2023. Across a stretch of five tournaments from mid-February to early April, he reached five finals and won four titles, including at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami.

<a href=Daniil Medvedev with his Miami Open trophy in 2023.” />

Medvedev also lifted 500-level trophies in Rotterdam and Dubai during that period. He would later add a second ATP Masters 1000 trophy — his first tour-level clay title — in Rome before reaching the US Open final and advancing to ATP 500 finals in Beijing and Vienna.

“I’ve had an amazing season on many levels, but the 500s have been pretty amazing. I got a lot of points and good wins against great players,” said Medvedev, who earned the most Pepperstone ATP Rankings points across the 13 ATP 500s this season.

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“I started the year very strongly by winning the first two 500s I played in Rotterdam and Dubai, so that opened a big gap on a lot of players and I have managed to finish strong at the end here in Vienna,” he added, charting his path in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin.

During his Vienna run, Medvedev said this was probably the best season of his career, though he rued the lack of a Grand Slam title to match his 2021 US Open crown. A second Nitto ATP Finals title would go a long way to consolidate this as a standout season for the baseliner — but he knows he must beat several great champions to become the singular champion in Turin.

“You play against the best players in the world,” he said of the season finale. “So as soon as you go to the third set, and the ending of the third set, it’s going to be tough for both of you, and you both know how to deal with this pressure.

“Last year, I was not strong enough to manage to make it. This year, I’m going to try to be stronger.”

Medvedev tops the ATP Tour leaderboard in matches won this season with a personal-best 64 victories compared to just 16 defeats. But should he suffer a setback against one of his elite foes in Turin, the result will not necessarily end his chances at the title thanks to the unique round-robin format.

While he will not approach the group stage differently than any other tournament — except for the knowledge that he is up against the world’s very best from Day 1 — Medvedev knows he could benefit from that second chance in his back pocket if needed.

“I think what it changes is if you lose a match, that’s when you get the second chance, which in tennis doesn’t happen except this tournament. And that’s the only time,” he explained.

“But when you go into the tournament, the best feeling is trying to not lose [each] match, try to win every match possible and get to the final like this. But I think we have a lot of stories where someone lost the first match and then won the whole thing. So that’s what makes it this tournament special.”

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