THE MODERATOR: How do you assess your performance today?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah. It was not my best match, but Gael also played good and that’s how it is sometimes, you know.
When you lose it’s rare that you’re going to sit here and say, yeah, I played unbelievable and just, you know.
Yeah, so didn’t play my best match. Gael played good and it was enough for him to win today, and second and third set was not that close, to be honest.
Q. Why do you think it wasn’t your best? I know this tournament’s been a challenge for you in the past, but you’ve had a long time to look at it before you started. What do you think about the situation?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah. First of all, the tournament, I don’t feel amazing in my sensations here and sometimes when you play a guy who plays good, who can play good, if he steps up the level a little bit, I couldn’t find it today.
Yeah. I just couldn’t find my rhythm and completely lost it in the third set because, I think actually first match and first set maybe played even a little bit bad, bad thing with me because I felt like I was playing not bad. So I think I got a little bit too confident in that, okay, I’m starting to feel my rhythm. Maybe should have paid more attention to small details, which, yeah, in the third set really tough to get it back, and, yeah, it was going easy for him.
It can be different things. You know, as I say, sometimes you don’t feel well in the tournament and then suddenly you come there and you start playing great, like, let’s say, Roland Garros last year. I was playing pretty good, and like five times before I lost first round.
So I really like the tournament if we don’t talk about my tennis. So we’ll be coming back here and trying to play better than I did all the previous years.
Q. How much was the No. 1 ranking in your mind in this match? It’s been spoken of so much over the last couple of weeks, and you obviously knew you had to get to the quarterfinals to keep it. Was that added pressure? Did you feel that today?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Definitely not pressure. I thought it could give me more motivation, well, I had motivation. It’s just that, yeah, as I say, I didn’t find my best tennis.
Well, now I know I’m going to lose it, so I have Miami to try to get it back. Usually feeling a little bit better in Miami in terms of tennis, so we’ll try to play good there. You know, I always say, when I play my best tennis, my good tennis, it’s really tough to beat me. But that’s the toughest part of tennis is to reproduce it time after time. That’s where the big three are just unreal because no matter which conditions, no matter which surface, they are always winning tournaments a lot of the time or winning some crazy matches. Yeah, I’m going to need to try to do better.
Q. We all have difficulty with different places. Why do you think you don’t feel amazing here?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don’t know. I think that the desert air makes something because I don’t like to play in Dubai, for example, also, which is also the desert in a way. So maybe something with this, because, yeah, basically I feel like I cannot really step into the court, like play aggressive.
And the same time, I don’t have this like defensive game where, which I’m good at, where from the back of the court, you know, I can kind of follow the ball really deep, fast into the air.
Like, for example, in US Open I feel like I have it, you know, straight from the first day I come, and especially from the first round, it just, I just play good there. Here I don’t have it, so I have to fight a little bit more to feel it, and it felt like I was not on the bad path, but, yeah, everything ended quite fast.
Q. Not sure if you saw what happened with Naomi Osaka a couple nights ago and I know you’ve had issues obviously with crowds and negativity and people shouting things and stuff. Wondering what you thought of that moment and how athletes are sort of subject to anyone in the stands shouting anything they want.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I will be honest. I heard this from other people. So sometimes it can be a little like, I didn’t see it by my own eyes, and I didn’t watch the videos after, so I just heard it from someone who heard from someone, so I don’t want to go too much into it because I didn’t see actually what happened.
But, yeah, that’s where, you know, it’s tough for everybody because I can feel for Naomi. I mean, I felt not great in Australia. I can feel the fans that maybe going to say, what the hell? You know they’re getting millions. They should, you know, be ready for everything.
At the same time we’re humans. We all make mistakes, good decisions. Sometimes we feel bad. Sometimes we feel good. So basically I can understand that Naomi didn’t feel that great when she heard it and I can completely understand her feelings.
But, yeah, as I said, I didn’t really see it with my own eyes, so I don’t have much to say. Yeah. Life would be easier if everybody would be calm and not angry, but same, even talking about me, I get angry, so I should be better also.
Q. There’s some great players who have only been No. 1 for a short time like, Carlos Moya and Pat Rafter, for example. How important is it for you to be able to be up there for, at some point, a long time?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, of course I want to be there for a long time winning many slams, and yeah, you know, be there as many weeks as possible. You never know how your career’s going to turn. I want to try to be better than I was here, you know, maybe fighting better, I don’t know, because, yeah, the third set was not good enough. So it’s kind of the same as just the previous question, you know, is it better to be No. 1 for let’s say one week in your life or never touch it? You know, I think it’s still better to at least touch it.
So I’m going to try my best, on practice courts, on the matches, Grand Slams, Masters Series, to gain, to win as many tournaments and gain as many points and try to be world No. 1 for long time.
If it doesn’t happen, well, again, I think it’s the same, you know, but the top 100, the top 10, some people stay there for long time, some people not. I think, yeah, to have this achievement in your career is definitely still a good thing, because when we talk about guys like Rafter and Moya, we still talk about them as ex No. 1 and I actually, for example, I didn’t know how many weeks they were there, so if you don’t tell me I would say, I don’t know, maybe a year or something. So, yeah.
Q. What do you think was the turning point in the match? Was it that middle of the second set or was it when you lost serve at the start of the third set?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, finally looking back on the match I guess middle of the second set was the turning point. During the match I didn’t feel it this way, I felt like it was still pretty even, just didn’t manage to play good enough.
Like I remember the game especially at 4-3, terrible game for me, and, yeah, that’s when you lose tennis matches, you know, you cannot, if you want to win on high level you cannot let those games happen, because that’s where I lost the second set.
And third set, you know, it’s tough to talk about turning points or something like this, I just played not really well. Gael in contrast played really good. I think that was his best set. That’s how this course happens sometimes, that’s how we see scores like 6-1, 6-2, 6-0, when one guy goes completely out, cannot put one ball on the court, and the other one is taking confidence and doing all the shots he can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports