Medvedev strengthens his love for Monte Carlo clay

He will face Khachanov in the round of 16

April 10, 2024

Daniil Medvedev beats Gael Monfils at the 2024 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
By Staff

Clay court continues to earn a place in the heart of Daniil Medvedev, immersed this week in the heat of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The No. 4 in the PIF ATP Rankings aspires to extend the good harmony achieved on the surface in 2023 and load his calendar with great weeks, a fundamental achievement to once again compete for the top of the ATP Tour. From the outset, it completed a guaranteed debut in the Principality.

The fourth seed landed in a difficult debut, beating Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-4 to reach the round of 16 as the Mediterranean watched. In one of the most anticipated matches of the day, Daniil kept the unpredictable tennis of his rival under control, so given to irreverent moments on the court. After absorbing Gilles Simon’s advice on the surface, Medvedev found the blows to stop the Parisian.

“When you face Gael, you know he’s good at defense. Sometimes you’re afraid to go on the attack because that’s something he loves,” Medvedev said. “It was a tactical match but I felt good. I played at a good speed when I had to defend and I didn’t give him easy balls.”

Daniil faces a season of consolidation on clay. The feat achieved at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in 2023, where he lifted his first and so far only ATP Tour clay cup, promises to be a stimulus of discipline for a platform traditionally suffered by Medvedev. The former world No. 1 has accumulated a balance of 29-26 on the surface throughout his career (0.527), beginning to consolidate a positive history on the slowest floor on the circuit.

In this acclimatization dynamic, Monte Carlo will offer you limited margin. Medvedev will face his compatriot Karen Khachanov, one of the hardest hitters in the locker room, in the round of 16. The world No. 17 offered a good example of his danger by overcoming Argentine Tomás Martín Etcheverry 6-1, 6-0 in 64 minutes, resolving the most fleeting match of the day in the Principality.

The challenge will have an unprecedented component in an unprecedented rivalry on clay, although with a psychological dominance for the fourth seed. Medvedev dominates the Lexus ATP Head2Head history 5-1, including the three most recent chapters written in the 2023 season.

“I think Karen likes to play on clay more, but I can do well on this surface,” Medvedev acknowledged. “When I am 45 years old I will be able to say that I have a title from Rome, I know I can perform and it is something that makes me happy. But I know that Karen will be a difficult rival.”

In a day full of big names, the Norwegian Casper Ruud got rid of the Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-2, 6-4, eliminating the last South American player in the Monte Carlo draw. The world No. 10 will face the Polish Hubert Hurkacz in the next round, winning by a tight 7-5, 7-6(4) against the Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut.

In the match that opened the Court Rainier III this Wednesday, the Australian Alexei Popyrin surprised the current champion Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-4, preventing him from defending the first ATP Masters 1000 won in his career. The one from Sydney will face his compatriot Alex de Miñaur in the round of 16, capable of lifting 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 an adverse duel against the Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

Did you know…?
Daniil Medvedev aspires to become the fifth active player capable of lifting two different ATP Masters 1000 trophies on clay in individual mode. The world No. 4, reigning Rome champion, can follow in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev.


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