‘He tips you’ – ‘chess participant’ Medvedev retains opponents in verify, Sports activities Information
Confidence is king and Daniil Medvedev has loads of it, with the affable Russian morphing into not simply certainly one of tennis’s greatest gamers and premier athletes, however among the many smartest.
Standing at a lanky 6ft 6in and pencil-thin, he has emerged on the forefront of the subsequent wave trying to smash the ‘Large Three’ monopoly of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
After reaching the 2019 US Open ultimate, the place he misplaced to Nadal, he has labored exhausting on his recreation and health to race by way of the rankings and goes into Sunday’s Australian Open ultimate towards Djokovic on a 20-match win streak, demonstrating his psychological and bodily stamina.
Having fun with a career-high rating of 4, he has come to phrases along with his immense potential.
Earlier than his rise in 2019, he might let his feelings get in the way in which and by no means shied away from admitting he didn’t do every little thing as professionally as doable.
He competed exhausting and did his work on the observe court docket, however his food regimen and restoration routines weren’t what they need to be, with the 25-year-old having fun with sweets and croissants.
And if a protracted match went late, he would typically skip the ice tub.
“I assumed it was going to be the perfect relaxation, to simply lay on the mattress and watch some TV. And actually, it is not,” he stated final yr.
However Medvedev, nicknamed Bear, has modified and it has paid dividends.
Throughout his 20-match run, he has crushed each top-10 participant besides Federer, who has been out injured.
When knowledgeable of this, he replied: “It is nice to know this. It is a pity that Roger is just not enjoying,” suggesting he was additionally assured of taking his scalp.
– Unlocked every little thing –
Medvedev is an clever man. He excelled in physics and maths in school, graduating early and enrolling at a college in his native Moscow to check utilized economics and commerce.
He opted as an alternative to play tennis full-time, transferring to the south of France, the place his sister lived, to profit from its high-quality teaching and amenities.
Fluent in Russian and English, he’s additionally typically heard conversing in French along with his coach, Gilles Cervara, who has helped steer him to the place he’s at present.
Regardless of leaving college early, Medvedev stays a tactical thinker, or as commentator Jim Courier put it this week: “He is a grasp chess participant on court docket”.
Medvedev retains opponents guessing along with his flat and low groundstrokes, whereas altering up the tempo and angles, mixing impenetrable defence with opportunistic offence.
His semi-final opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas as soon as referred to as Medvedev’s enjoying model “boring” however even the Greek star has been received over.
“Let me inform you that he is a participant who has unlocked just about every little thing within the recreation,” he stated after crashing to him in straighht units.
“He tips you. You recognize, he performs the sport actually good. It is actually attention-grabbing to see that.”
Whereas the Russian has refined his recreation, a key rule nonetheless applies and that’s to “battle like loopy”, a trait drilled him into by certainly one of his first tennis coaches when he was nonetheless a small boy.
“Her golden rule was, ‘The one who wins the match is the one who made extra balls over the online’, which is straightforward to grasp,” he stated.
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