THE MODERATOR: Your 18th win in a row, and you are still going on. I know you said it’s not your favorite court here, but what made you do so well?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Confidence. Confidence, for sure. Exactly 100% not my favorite surface and conditions. So a lot of these matches, I would honestly say, starting from the first match, if I wouldn’t be in, let’s call it in the zone where you get a little bit luck on your side, some crazy shots, some crazy points on your side, I would probably lose early like I always do here.
So really happy that with all the circumstances and with all the crazy matches, I’m still in the tournament and still keeping the streak alive.
Looking forward, yeah, for my semis. Nothing more to add.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Have you had the chance to look at your hand, your finger?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, that’s nothing too bad, because actually the moment I cut it, I saw, I don’t know if I should say it, kind of the meat. That was not nice to see. They cleaned it now. Have a small tape.
Should be fine. The question is going to be whether I tape it in two days for the match or not. But that’s not a big problem, because, yeah, I managed to play well with the tape today. A lot of players tape their fingers and manage to play well so I’m going to be able to do it also.
Q. You were talking a week or two ago how concerned you were after the way the year started in Melbourne. Obviously you have been on this great run now. Are you back to where you feel you should be mentally?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Mentally, 100%. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s very tough to have these streaks, you know, in tennis. Yeah, you always have an opponent on the other side who wants to beat you. Everyone wants to be in the semis of Masters, finals, winning the tournament.
So it’s tough, because anybody can beat you any moment. When you manage to win that many matches in a row, it’s just a pleasant feeling. Three titles. But right now, yeah, my mind is definitely 100% here in Indian Wells. I want to try to get these last two matches.
The further you go, the tougher it is, the more confident your opponents are, because, yeah, if you play semis or final, it means that you are feeling good either with the courts or conditions, they earn your confidence, which is more the second one for me. But it’s the same for other three players.
I’m sure Frances is feeling great right now and playing great. And it’s going to be the same for guys who win tomorrow.
But I feel great, and hopefully I can continue this way this season, because it’s been a long time I haven’t felt this way.
Q. At the same time, if you look at it on the other side of the coin, there is that element, you keep winning and winning and winning and that element of pressure that comes on to keep on doing it. How do you maybe try to avoid something like that?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, I like pressure, because pressure comes, the better result you do, the more pressure.
Like it’s actually funny, because I remember when you go from juniors to professionals you feel like that’s a huge pressure, and it actually is. When you start playing challengers after you played futures, that feels like a huge pressure. Every time something happens in your life you feel like it’s a huge pressure, but then one year later, oh, it was actually not that much. Now it’s more.
That’s normal. The more you’re living, the more you try to achieve, not talking only about tennis, the more pressure you will have, sometimes from your close ones, from your family, sometimes from the fans, sometimes from, I don’t know, press, media, whatever.
So I know that in tennis the more pressure you have, meaning probably the better you do, so that’s great. You have this pressure back. I don’t know if No. 1 spot kind of threw me out a little bit because a lot of ex-players say that this was tough for them.
Honestly, it was not tough for me. It was a great feeling. But the result is that I didn’t manage to do well when I was.
So now I’m really happy that I’m playing good tennis and, yeah, I’m happy, really happy for the pressure to come back (smiling).
Q. Thanks for your great answers on court and in here.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I try my best (smiling).
Q. I’ve got a tough one for you. Last night Iga, after she beat Raducanu, came in, and she said that a lot of the talk, of course, is whether the Belarusians and the Russians should have the right to play, but that players also have a responsibility just by being where they are and their access to media. She didn’t understand — she was talking about the withdrawal of the Ukrainian player — she didn’t understand how the Ukrainians sort of go on and compete with all that’s going on. She said that she felt it wasn’t the fault of players to be born in this country or that country, but they have a responsibility. My question is: What are your thoughts, the pressures of the Ukrainians, whose country is being bombed and their homes are being bombed? Do you think top players do have a responsibility to use their platforms?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, it’s a tough question to answer. First of all, I definitely do feel sorry for all the Ukrainian players and what they go through. For sure, the situation with Tsurenko, I don’t know in details. It’s more for her and for maybe a little bit Sabalenka to answer, because I actually didn’t know about this till the next day.
I was actually — because I finished the match before them, and then I was surprised there were doubles after. I thought there was singles match, and then the next day I saw it.
Talking about top players, of course we have a responsibility, and it depends how every person, individual, will do with it and will hold with it. I always said the same, I’m for peace all over the world, to be honest, and that’s all I can say.
Q. So when you say — can I just follow up, please?
THE MODERATOR: I think that’s enough for the question.
Q. I don’t think so. You cut me off the last time. I would like to ask a follow-up to Mr. Medvedev. It’s fair. It’s brief.
THE MODERATOR: We’ve had enough discussion on this topic. We need to move to the next one.
Q. No, we haven’t.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Let’s hear the question, for sure.
Q. Thank you, Daniil.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: No worries.
Q. I appreciate that. My only question is, and you have said for many months you’re for peace, which is wonderful, but would you like to see that war end in the Ukraine?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I will say because I think in my answer there is an answer to this, that I am for peace. So I’m going to continue with the same answer, because I do think that there is an answer to your question.
Q. Thank you.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Thank you.
Q. I wanted to ask, I know you’re in this tournament, your goal is to keep the streak going and win the tournament, but do you have a vision of a long-term future? You see Novak, Rafa, having these incredible careers, many slams. Do you look into the future and set your sights on a certain goal or certain way you’d like to have your career go or is it more just day to day, take the next match as it comes, and keep working hard?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Definitely more day to day, because the only goal I said to myself probably around, whatever, I don’t remember exactly, but four years ago when I started to take tennis more seriously for a bunch of different reasons that were happening in my life, where before I was just, I was already top 100 but I was just traveling the tour, in a way for fun, because tennis is never fun; it’s always your job. But I could go out before the tournament, I could go to sleep late before the match, because I was, like, whatever, I’m gonna play well anyway.
Then at one moment I stopped this and I started being more professional about my career and my tennis. That’s when I set my most important goal is to have no regrets when I finish my career. Meaning the match with Rafa, for sure I regret that I couldn’t win it and didn’t have my second slam. I was close, but I fighted. I fighted till the end. Maybe I missed some shots, but that’s sport.
And I don’t want to be, yeah, when I’m 35 or whatever and I retire, I don’t want to say, like I heard some other tennis players do, if I would have done this different in my career, maybe my career would be better or I regret doing this.
I want to, when I finish my career, no matter how many slams, tournaments won, or whatever, just to know that I have done my best. So far I feel like I’m achieving my goal, even last year not the best year, but I was trying. I was trying hard, and I was doing my best, and has been working this year.
So that’s my biggest goal.
Q. Just getting back to the No. 1 issue, how much did you enjoy being in that position? What were the pros, what were the cons? Somebody like John McEnroe struggled at No. 1. Lendl loved it. Pete Sampras just went along with it. How much did you enjoy it? How much did you find it difficult? What were the pros and cons for you?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Honestly, it’s tough what I would say, but it felt normal. When I say “normal,” not that I take it for granted or something. It’s just like it felt great. Because I knew that at the moment when I had the No. 1 I was not playing my best and I was losing some matches. But I had this No. 1 spot because I had whatever, 2,000 points from US Open, 1,000 from Toronto, 600 Bercy, maybe 800 or whatever from Turin, so I had a lot of points accumulated during the last 52 weeks, and that’s how rankings are.
I think that’s very fair, otherwise I would be No. 1 right now just because I won three last tournaments in a row, but that’s not how rankings work.
I was really happy I managed to take this spot and hold it for that long. I was not happy with the level of my tennis and with the matches I lost, but this had nothing to do with the No. 1. It was just, yeah, losing other tennis matches to other players.
Are the tennis players trying to beat you more when you’re No. 1? I don’t know. I hope not, because it would be better for them if they try to do it every match no matter which number you are at the ranking.
What else? And for sure the pressure is not easy, because you know that everyone expects a lot from you. I think that taught me even more because for sure when I was 20 and just coming up, you love social media, you love reading all the comments about yourself, how people, Okay, he’s going to do good, or even, He’s a bad player, and when you’re young you sometimes answer to them, No, I’m going to do good, that.
And this pressure of being No. 1, for sure a lot of haters. And that’s normal. Novak has a lot of haters. Even Rafa and Roger somehow have them. You’re, like, how is this possible? They shouldn’t have (smiling).
And that taught me to even less care about this and focus more on myself, on my close people around me, because that’s only way you can stay sane and true to you, to kind of, as I said, to have no regrets. Just because someone said you should have put this backhand in the court, no, you know you did your best and maybe your coach is going to tell you if you should have done something better, and he’s the only person who can kind of tell you this.
Q. You mentioned the pressure you felt moving from juniors to the seniors, so to speak, and the expectation is what I want to ask you about. When you come to a tournament for the first time or when you came for the first time back then, I’m sure you had some kind of expectation.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: You mean ATP tournament or which tournament?
Q. Yeah, when you came on tour, when you went to events, I’m assuming you’ve seen images. When you went to certain tournaments, were there any surprises like this was unlike whatever I was expecting?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: First of all, it’s great, because it’s completely normal level of organization, hotels, food, courts sometimes (smiling), is much better on challengers than on futures.
So when you come from futures, you manage to get in the main draw of challengers and stuff like this, you’re like, Wow, that’s actually great. So you want to stay there. You want to play good to stay there, to not come back to futures, because first of all, you want to climb up the rankings and you want to play these better tournaments.
Coming to ATP, I remember my first one was actually Nice, so I was staying at home, was a bit different. Then there was ‘s-Hertogenbosch, all the organization and everything, and that’s normal, that’s the highest level of the tennis, is just absolutely great. You’re, like, yeah, I want to try to play as many of these tournaments as possible.
Then I played my first — actually a Grand Slam is different because you play them in juniors and you already see the magic that is happening there, the way that everyone is feeling about Grand Slams. You just, yeah, you just want to have this feeling and try to work hard to have it every day.
So far I don’t know how does it feel to lose it, because some people play worse and get back to challenger level, and then they have to scramble their way back to ATP Tour, if we can say like this, even if now many challenger events are probably not worse organized than ATP Tour events.
And, yeah, just a great feeling to be on ATP Tour and that’s why all the juniors want to be in the top 100 and play all these tournaments.
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FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
130413-1-1063 2023-03-16 02:28:00 GMT