THE MODERATOR: Was it any different playing as the No. 1 player in the world for the first time in your career?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It was nice. I got a nice reaction from the crowd. Actually much more people than last October. I think, yeah, everybody’s more used to have Indian Wells during March.
Like the way I played. Tried to fight for every ball because sometimes first matches can be really tough. Happy with everything how it went today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk about things that have meant the most to you since you got the ranking. Out there today they kept saying, Here is the world No. 1. Does it seem totally real to you now?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It does. Actually I’m even interested how did it feel for other guys, because probably everybody will have different emotions because everybody is different.
For me, it’s a great feeling. Something I’ve always dreamt of, something I was going for. At the same time I want to play better, I want to try to win more. For example, talking about Australian Open, for sure wanted to win it. Was really close. Didn’t manage to do it.
I’m thinking, Okay, if I have one more chance like this, I should be better, I should be stronger. The more tournaments you win, the more points you gain, the more chances you have to stay at this No. 1 spot for more weeks, more time. That’s what matters for me the most.
I usually try not to think too much about the past and more about the future and the present. That’s why sometimes I think it can be maybe not that good even to try to realize what you’ve done.
So, yeah, I’m trying to focus that I’m happy about it, but also trying to continue working and playing good, for example, here in Indian Wells.
Q. How much do you think about the ranking points that are available here? I don’t know whether you know this or not but you have to reach the quarterfinals to stay at No. 1.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I knew that. I heard a long time. Now the second time. I don’t think it’s extra pressure because same, I mean, I’m going to have some tough guys before quarters or if I reach quarters after this.
You know, I don’t have anything more to say than, well, I have to beat them to try to stay the No. 1 spot, otherwise I’m going to lose it.
Same, if I’m going to lose it because I’m either going to play a bad match or my opponent is going to play an amazing one, there is the next tournament in Miami to try to get the 1,000 points, which is the maximum.
I think that’s why everybody loves and hates tennis because you can as we see, for example, with Thanasi you can lose everything quite fast, get injured, play some tournaments bad, lose your ranking, maybe not get into some tournaments. Then you win a 250 in your hometown and life is good again. And that’s how tennis is, every week is a new story. Right now it’s Indian Wells week and I want to make it a good story.
Q. What do you think your single greatest strength is? You said you want to work on things to get better. What’s the prime thing you want to work on?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Want to improve in everything. But if we try to pick one thing, if we’re talking about really being much better, that’s always the mental part. I feel like I can always be better, maybe learn from some of the greats because, well, many of them were better than me mentally, in many things.
That’s also the part of success. Comparing to even two years ago, three years ago, I’m much better right now in focusing on the match, just trying to win the match because that’s the most important.
If we talk about my tennis, I think, yeah, my greatest strengths is consistency. I think in tennis it’s really important. You can hit a lot of winners, you can play real aggressive, but if you make one winner, one unforced errors, probably you’re going to lose the match. You have to make maybe three winners and one unforced error or something like this.
Yeah, I think I’m pretty good at keeping the ball in play.
Q. As far as this No. 1 aspect is concerned, you can’t really do anything about it, it’s been a case of been there, done that, now it’s just a matter of get the results and the ranking takes care of itself.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I always thought this way. No matter which ranking you have, every year is a new year where you start anyway from zero. Of course, it depends, sometimes you can lose some points, win some points, that is where maybe you can become No. 3, 2, 1 at the end of the year.
At the end of the year, after Turin, everybody going to have the amount of points they won during the year. Sometimes for top-10 guys, it’s easier. They’re going to have maybe a little bit more open draw. If you are not seeded, you may play Rafa second round or somebody as strong.
Again, if you are consistent, if you have good results, for example, like Ruud and Norrie last year. They started the year not top 10, but from the beginning of the year they were doing some results. They didn’t win a Grand Slam or something. But Norrie managed to win a Masters 1000, Ruud was playing great on clay, got a lot of titles, and they got to top 10 eventually.
That shows that everybody can do it, but you have to show good results and be consistent.
Q. I ask this question respectfully. A couple Ukrainian players have referred to the fact that Russian players are able to play. I think it’s important to ask today. I presume you disagree. From your perspective, what is your argument for why it’s right for you all to be here?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: First of all, it’s definitely not for me to decide. I follow the rules. I cannot do anything else. Right now the rule is that we can under our neutral flag.
Yeah, I want to play my favorite sport. Until I have the chance to do it, I’m going to be there to try to play for the fans, play for other people, for myself also of course.
Also I think tennis is a very individual sport, so far what we are seeing are more national teams or some team sports.
Yeah, till I have the chance, I’m going to play. Let’s see how the situation evolves.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports