THE MODERATOR: Another great battle. First of all, how is your ankle?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Thank you. I don’t know yet, because the thing is that I twisted it, let’s say, pretty bad.
The moment I twisted it I thought it’s gonna be just fine and I’m gonna stand up and then the pain started raising, let’s say brutally. I actually thought it’s gonna be bad and I’m not gonna be able to continue. Then they taped it. In the beginning it was quite painful, so I was more concerned and focused on my ankle than the game.
Then that actually helped me a little bit to play better. Then, for the rest of the match, adrenaline was probably kicking in. So it was not easy to walk, that’s why I was limping, but to move was easier.
And so in a way I can understand how tough it is for the opponent when he sees you limping and then running for all the dropshots and stuff, which is completely normal.
Now that I have cooled down, it’s big. I cannot walk properly. But if everything is going to be fine, I’m gonna tape it tomorrow, take one painkiller, and go to play. So not much more to add for the moment. Pretty painful, but nothing too bad hopefully.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. How do you explain you have never been taped?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, when I said this, meaning I’ve never really rolled it. I remember rolling it few times on the futures, so it was not ATP physios who were taping it. It was long ago, so I didn’t know — that’s why I ask so many questions to the physio.
I was, like, Is it still dangerous? He told me, No, it’s not, unless you roll it again, but with the tape normally it’s not possible. So that assured me that I can kind of try it at least, and then if I cannot, I will retire.
Then it was still pretty painful, so I asked my physio, It’s painful, but can I play or not? He said yes. So then I was like, okay, one more opinion where I can play.
Now, yeah, for some time I’m, for sure, going to need to tape it because the ankle becomes looser so if you don’t tape it you’re just going to roll it over and over and over until you break it. Yeah, gonna tape it for a couple of weeks, days, and hopefully can play tomorrow.
Q. You said sort of like easygoing, Oh, just take a painkiller and I will play. Are you worried at all about doing any kind of long-term damage, especially given the form you’re in and the spring coming up?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: 100% I would never play through something if someone tells me from my team, who I trust, or ATP physio team, that this could lead to a long-term injury. So both my physio and ATP team said that this is fine, you know.
If you are too painful — so it basically apparently comes to supporting the pain. If you don’t support it anymore and it’s too much, you retire. If you can support it, nothing gonna be worse. So I trust them.
Yeah, that’s how I am. I’m not a doctor, so I have to trust other people.
Q. You hit that great leaping overhead. Talk about that. It was special. I don’t know whether you follow such things, I don’t know whether you’re familiar with the Federer overhead…
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yes, yes, yes, yes. First I saw some comments about Federer overhead. I was like, Which one? Then I remembered the one against Roddick. His one was tougher because he was on the run and out of the court. But if I remember right, the moment was a little bit less tight, in a way, because we had 1-All in the tiebreak and I was one set to love down.
Yeah, I got in a way lucky that he put the ball where I was standing. I’m also lucky that the courts here are slow, so I could actually hit it and it didn’t go over my head. Yeah, the timing, the position of the ball was perfect, so I managed to kind of, in a way, hit the serve, but from very far position.
Only thing I said to myself, Just hit it full power, there is no other choice. I hit it crosscourt. It was amazing shot.
Well, even if you try to practice it, you probably miss eight or nine out of ten. That was one lucky one. Yeah, that’s great to have such shots in such important moments. That saves your life.
Q. During the past few days you have been very candid in expressing your opinion about the courts and the ball. Have you guys talked about this in the locker room? Do you think players should have a say? Should there be some kind of committee, that players council should have some kind of opinion on this?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: That’s a super tough question. It always comes down to how many players play here in the main draw, what is it, 96 players? I know that when I express this opinion, when I say these things I say on the court, I don’t even want to say it again, because I actually love the tournament, I just don’t like the court (smiling).
I understand that maybe out of 96 players, actually 60 is gonna say, Well, the court is fine. That’s just my problem.
I do know that some people also don’t like it, but it comes to the question, if 80 players come out and say the court is too slow and something has to be changed, then that’s bad that it is not changed.
Yeah, I don’t think that player, how you call it, council, player council is actually capable of doing something with it. And I’m not sure it has to be done. There are guys like Cam Norrie, I don’t know if Alcaraz likes to play here, but Norrie definitely adores to play here, then he would be, like, Why did we change the courts, and he’s right. We cannot change the courts just because I don’t like it.
Here, talking calm, I understand this and I don’t like my behavior on court. But on court, I get crazy, because there are some points where I feel like I’m hitting five, ten good shots, and then I get a winner. I’m like, that’s not possible. And I get crazy, yeah.
Q. At that point in the sixth game of the second set when you suffered the injury, could you even imagine that you were going to win this match at 3 hours, 17 minutes?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Definitely not. I honestly, when I was lying on the ground, because as I say, the moment I fell down I was like try to stand up almost straightaway and the pain kicked in. Then even, what was it, the doctor came in first, and he said, Let’s go to the chair. I was, like, I don’t know, I’m scared to go to the chair. Then I was like, Okay, I try. So I went.
I thought I’m gonna retire. But I always like to give it a try. I had few times in my career where I thought I’m gonna retire, same, and I always give it a try. And if I cannot, that’s when I retire. Big example is the match against Novak, during the tiebreak I felt that I had torn the muscle. I knew it. So I finished the tiebreak, and I retired, because I knew that, well, I’m not going to play with a torn muscle.
So if I would by myself feel that I tore the ligament there I would not play. There were two opinions which said I can continue to play unless I feel too painful. Yeah, was moving only better and better with adrenaline.
So, yeah, even without talking about the ankle, the match was itself crazy. Where even without talking about this, he had, what, 10 breakpoints in the second set? When you have 10 breakpoints you’re much closer to winning it and maybe you even deserve it, but that’s tennis sometimes. These moments happens, and the confidence definitely helped me.
Q. When you express your opinion about the surface, is it a way to help you in a way, or…
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Not at all. I do think it actually distracts me and I would be better just shutting up and playing. That’s what I should do. But at the same time, that’s how I am.
When I was much younger, I was actually much worse. I tried to mature, if we can say like this. I do think that in many aspects of my life and in my tennis career I matured a lot. And better than I was three, four years ago.
The attitude I had on the court today and with Ivashka was immature. But, yeah, what else can I say? That’s also this high-intensity sport where you are one on one against the opponent brings the heat out of you. Some players are capable of controlling it better than the others. Some are controlling it less, like me.
So, yeah, that’s my character, and that’s my personality, also.
Q. You have answered most of the question I was going to ask just there, but just as an extension of that, do you continue to work on that element of your personality when you’re away from the court? You say you wish you hadn’t done what you did today.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah.
Q. How do you work on it? What do you do?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, I do think working with a mental coach, the previous one I had, Francisca, helped me a lot to, first of all, mature as a person, and that helped me mature on the tennis court, talking even about winning titles and getting better results. Because that’s also, in my opinion, if you are, yeah, immature, it’s going to be tougher to do it. That helped me a lot.
I feel like many times I’m capable of — I mean, the thing is that you cannot constantly do, let’s call it, errors and then apologize and say, You see, I apologize so that’s mature. No, but I’m capable of seeing many times my mistakes. Sometimes not. Sometimes if a person comes to me and says, You did a mistake. I say, No, I don’t think so. Then that’s also your opinion.
But sometimes I’m capable of seeing this, and then telling myself, okay, maybe next time I have to try to do better. Again, if this would happen when I was 16 years old, I would not like something about the court, about myself, about my game today, I don’t even want to say what happened, but it would be much worse than it is right now.
But that’s something I’m going to try to work throughout my whole career, because I want to be remembered not definitely for my tantrums but more for my game and for my good parts of my personality.
I want to, yeah, have good relationship with all the guys on the court, because I can also understand that this can distract my opponent, and that’s not what I want. I don’t care to win a match distracting my opponent. I want to win it normally.
Yeah, that’s something I work on constantly. I’m sure I’m going to only improve and improve on this case.
Q. How do you compare these courts to Miami?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I guess they are the same, but just for sure conditions are different everywhere. In Miami they seem like a little bit faster. But what I feel like that here especially, what was it against Grigor I played — last year it felt really slow, and Miami felt really slow also, because it also destroys the balls, actually.
One time it was a change of balls and I gave one ball to the supervisor because you couldn’t see anymore what is written on the ball. In my opinion, that’s kind of not normal when you change the balls and they are like this, you cannot see anything written on the ball. That’s the court that is so rough that makes them become like this.
Miami is the same, but, I don’t know if it’s humidity, it plays a little bit faster. But I never played too good in Miami also. Because, yeah, that’s not my type of surface. But I’m first time quarters Indian Wells, hopefully I can play tomorrow and I’m going to try to do my best.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
130297-1-1063 2023-03-14 23:56:00 GMT