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Medvedev absorbs clay advice from Simon in Monte Carlo

The world No. 4 faces his maturity on the clay

April 08, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Daniil Medvedev trains before competing at the 2024 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
By Staff

Daniil Medvedev signed an unprecedented milestone in 2023 by lifting his first clay court title at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome.

Ten months later, the world No. 4 faces his first tournament of the year on the surface at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Having struggled to find the best level on clay in the early years of his career, Medvedev acknowledged that last season’s success has been a confidence boost for this year’s European tour.

“I used to hate clay before, two or three years ago. Before clay I was motivated but then I played on it and I was depressed for a couple of days. Then I tried to manage it,” Medvedev admitted. “This season I said to myself: ‘OK, it’s a change of surface and you have to adapt your mentality, your game and, maybe, some shots.’ I’m trying to give my best version and I want to play this tournament. For now, everything is going smoothly and “We are working well.”

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Medvedev, who has only won one of his 20 titles on clay, is famous for maintaining a very late position when subtracting on hard surfaces. The No. 4 in the PIF ATP Rankings acknowledges that he does not plan to vary his tactics too much on clay, although he understands the need to be flexible to break the opponent’s rhythm.

“Sometimes I’m afraid to advance my position in a match because if I lose, I’ll be in the locker room thinking I should have stayed behind,” Medvedev said. “I’m going to try to change this this year, be a little more unpredictable and work in a more advanced position. I can do it, although sometimes I don’t have as high a level as playing at the back.”

“On clay, it’s more important because everyone serves with more topspin. If they hit that type of serve you need to be in front. On clay I’m going to try to adapt and see what the best position is.”

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Medvedev added former world No. 6 Gilles Simon to his coaching team in February. The Frenchman won five ATP Tour titles on clay and Medvedev feels his experience on the surface will pay dividends in the coming months.

“Gilles left yesterday. He was there during the preparation phase and will accompany me in Rome and Roland Garros. He is a former player, a good tennis player. He was good at a tactical level and skilled on clay, he gives me small details. For now we have been working well,” Medvedev said. “I am the one who is on the court, I am the person in charge of execution, we try to assess some shots that could help me on the ground. Some positions and tactical moments. It is not something radical but small details. This is how tennis works, for now it is working “.

Medvedev’s best result in Monte Carlo was the 2019 semifinals. The fourth seed will begin this edition against the French guest Gael Monfils or the Australian Jordan Thompson.


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