Monday, March 6, 2023 - Daniil Medvedev reacts during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jonathan Moore/BNP Paribas Open)
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Daniil. How would you rate your performance today?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Thank you. I think I played pretty well. To not lose a serve here is a challenge, and is good to make it.
For sure a few moments where I could have done better, like after the tweener I should have finished it (smiling).
But, yeah, in general, when you win, you know, you can say this could be better, this could be better. But in general great win against a tough opponent who is young and on the rise.
So looking forward to my next round.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. When you say it’s challenging not to lose your serve here, you mean in a night match specifically or just any time in any…
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: In my opinion, any time. I remember — what was it? — 2021, against Grigor Dimitrov, I was 6-4, 4-1, double break up and I lost the match and I played not bad. That’s how Indian Wells is. Again, like even today, I felt like clay court sometimes are faster.
Yeah, it’s challenging. There are some people that can play good there, but we see a lot of upsets always in Indian Wells, a lot of top players struggling.
So I have the confidence right now, so want to try to keep pushing this confidence and try to make at least my best result in Indian Wells.
Q. You said you have a lot of confidence in your game. How do you manage to keep this high level of confidence? How do you work on it?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don’t know. Probably one of the first times was 2019 when I made six finals in a row, I managed to kind of understand in a way that, okay, when I have this confidence, I can make very big things and win big tournaments and play some big matches.
I managed to keep it going, keep it going. Suddenly I lost it, I remember Bercy and London, this match against Rafa, 5-1 and a match point up.
So right now, yeah, when I’m without the confidence, that’s something I have to probably work on to be better. When I have this confidence I manage somehow to keep it. How I do it, I don’t know, just try my best and that’s all that matters.
Q. In the previous press conference you talked about the strings, you changed it to adjust to the slower surfaces. Can you talk, if you can, a little bit about or like if there is anyone who suggested to you to do that or how it works that new strings work in slow conditions?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, first of all, last year was not perfect year for me. I felt like previous years I played better. So I felt like that’s a good moment maybe to try to change something, because the thing about tennis is when you play good, you are really scared to change something. Like when you win Grand Slams, I was No. 1 in the world, you’re like, why would I change? Then I played not that good end of the season, so I was, like, why not in preseason try to change and see, maybe, maybe not change.
Technifibre proposed me this new version of strings. I tried six different ones in one day, and I really liked them. I was like, okay, let’s try.
Then Australian Open was not perfect, for sure a lot of doubts did I make the right choice, maybe I should come back to the old ones. But I felt that’s something that could help me, because again, I gain power without losing too much control or without losing it at all. I was like, okay, I’ll try to continue with those strings, and last three weeks it was working well so probably I’m going to play with it for a long time.
Q. What aspect of your game do you like the most?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: In general or here? Because here I’m not sure.
Q. In general. And also, what aspect would you like to improve?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Improve, volley, for sure. I want to improve everything every day, but volley has to be better. Even today few volleys had to be better. That’s something I work on a lot.
Everyone, every player has his own, let’s call it, style or, yeah, best shots. Volley is my worst shot. There are matches where I can — you know, when I say “my worst shot,” I still know how to do it. Even in the toughest matches and even let’s say against Novak in US Open I was still at the net a few times, I could win some points, but that’s something I for sure want to improve.
Do I like the most? I like kind of my return from far position, just because it’s — it’s not unique. There are some other players that do it, but there are not a lot. Yeah, I like that this shot is, yeah, something not common, and I managed to do it well. So, yeah, I like it.
Q. You mentioned briefly playing Novak at the Open. Just in terms of the baseline game, what is tougher in terms of baseline game: Rafa on clay or Novak on…
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I didn’t play Rafa on clay. Rafa on clay is probably the worst and best challenge in tennis. When I say “worst,” it’s because he lost, what, I don’t know, 10 matches? I’m not even sure he lost 10. I mean, last years he was losing a little bit more in tournaments like Rome and Monte-Carlo.
But, yeah, I will be honest, I’m scared to play Rafa on clay. In a way I want to try it, and for sure I will fight to win, but that must be scary to go out against Rafa on clay.
Novak I managed to beat him few times. But again, that’s two guys who have 22 Grand Slams. Yeah, I would say, you know what? Novak in Australia is tough. I had few, I would say, I lost probably four times against him, four or five there. Didn’t win once even though some of them were close battles, especially ATP Cup or the first time I played him in the Australian Open.
But thinking back of these matches, I don’t know why there he plays, in my opinion, better than on other continents or courts. But, that’s tough, same like Rafa on clay, he barely loses there.
Yeah, tough challenges, and I hope I can do it one day in my career.
Q. You know, you mentioned you wanted to make your best result of your career here. Do you think you can win this title or do you think it’s impossible?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think I can win, honestly, I have to believe I can win anywhere. Roland Garros, I hope I can win it. I was one time in quarters and lost against Stefanos who played a great match, and that was a fight. I was serving for the set. I’m sure on a good day I can win any tournament in the world, because, well, I managed to win different ones many times.
The thing is that definitely if I have a bad day in Indian Wells, that’s going to be much tougher than anywhere else, so I have to have this good day every day. But again, what makes me really confident is my title in Doha, because similar conditions, very similar, like maybe even the same. I feel like it’s even slower here, but very similar. I managed to get the title there. It’s less matches, four against six.
But again, I’m sure I can do it. Just need to have a lot of good days (smiling).