Daniil Medvedev Says 'Change Of Approach' In 2017 Sparked Breakthrough On The Tour - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Says ‘Change Of Approach’ In 2017 Sparked Breakthrough On The Tour

The world No.5 pinpoints the reason behind his rise on the Tour as he speaks out about the upcoming US Open.

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It was last summer where Daniil Medvedev rocketed up the world rankings but he believes his breakthrough wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t start to change his ways two years prior.

 

The US Open finalist says his success in the sport is due to a change in his approach back in 2017 where the 24-year-old started to make what he describes as a ‘more professional’ approach. It was during that year where Medvedev broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time in his career, won his maiden main draw match in a Grand Slam and contested his first ATP Final at the Chennai Open in India.

“Starting about three years ago, I decided to be more professional about tennis. Which, of course, I was before – I was already in the top 100 and practising a lot – but outside the court I could go to bed too late sometimes, going out, small details were not important for me,” he said during an Instagram Live interview with Eurosport.
“I thought that didn’t affect my results, but maybe becoming a little bit older and talking with my coach a lot, I decided to give it a go and be more professional, maybe even sacrifice some things that I liked, such as going to the bar for an evening with your friends, maybe two days before a match, just having a good time, going to bed at two in the morning, which is nothing ridiculous, and I think everybody does it in normal life, but I decided that I wanted to be more professional even if that means that I have to go to bed at 11, wake up, get breakfast and stuff like this.”

Medvedev remembers one incident that triggered him to be more committed to the sport was an all-night gaming session he had with friends. Something that led to him doing poorly in a tournament, which he did not mention a name of.

“So my practice was at eight and I fell asleep at breakfast for 20 minutes and then went to practice. The tournament didn’t finish good and, as I said, I completely changed my habits afterwards.” He recounted.

It was last year where the Russian made a name for himself on the Tour by reaching no fewer than nine finals on the ATP Tour. During the North American hardcourt swing he reached back-to-back Masters 1000 finals, winning the Cincinnati Open before finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open. Then in Asia, he clinched his second Masters title at the Shanghai Open. In September he peaked at a ranking high of 4th in what was the highest position achieved by a male Russian player since Nikolay Davydenko back in August 2008.

Like his rivals, Medvedev is awaiting the return of competitive tennis that is set to start in August. There are still question marks looming over the upcoming US Open, which will be played behind closed doors for the first time in history. Some players have said they have reservations about playing in New York due to the pandemic. As for Medvedev, he says he wants to come back ‘as fast as possible.’

“I don’t think we can know what is going to happen in New York at that moment, and as you may have seen, some players are against very strict rules,” he said.
“At the same time, if you don’t have the strict rules, then there is a big chance of us getting infected or something else.
“Just talking about myself, I want to come back on the court as fast as possible and play tournaments, for the fans maybe – first it’s going to be without spectators, but for the fans all over the world in front of the TV, like soccer does.”

The world No.5 is likely to be playing at the US Open if it goes ahead given the large amount of points he will be defending. Although there is yet to be any clarification about the points system and if there will be any changes this year due to the pandemic. However Medvedev says the prospect of playing in an empty stadium in New York will be surreal for him.

“It’s going to be super strange because all of us played junior tournaments or futures, where you play maybe just with your coach and no-one else there. But it’s different, it’s a small court, it’s somewhere indoors in the middle of nowhere,” he said.
“It’s going to be different when you come to Arthur Ashe which fits 22,000 people and there’s only going to be two of your team members. I think the most bizarre thing will be playing night matches actually.”

Prior to the Tour suspension, Medvedev started 2020 with a win-loss record of 8-4 with his best performance being a run to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

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Felix Auger Aliassime Goes The Distance To Win First Match In Rome

The Canadian was pushed to three sets in his opening match by Filip Krajinovic.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime is into the second round of the BNL D’ Italia Masters in Rome after beating his Serbian opponent Filip Krajinovic in three gruelling sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

 

The marathon encounter saw the Canadian hit 45 winners and 12 aces en route to victory. Avenging his loss to Krajinovic at the same tournament last year. His win-loss for the season now stands at 13-8.

” It’s always a tough match against him and I was happy I was able to win today,” the world No.20 said afterwards.

It was Krajinovic who got off to a fast start earning a breakpoint on the Montreal natives opening service game of the match and broke to take an early 1-0 lead. The Canadian responded at 2-1 earning his first two breakpoints of the match and breaking with a solid forehand winner to get the break back and go back on serve. At 3-2 the world number 20 had a chance to take the lead but it was saved by the world number 36. Nevertheless, he would go on to break for a 5-3 lead before serving out the match.

Auger-Aliassime started the second set with confidence and broke the Serb’s opening service game. It stayed on serve until the world number 20 was serving for the win when he ended up getting broken to level the set at five. The very next game the Montreal native had three looks at a breakpoint but again was denied and the second set would be decided by a tiebreaker.

The tiebreaker stayed on serve until 4-4 when Auger Aliassime managed to get the crucial break but squandered it the following point and gave his Serbian opponent a chance to serve it out which he did following a double fault.

The third and decisive set was a roller-coaster with the Canadian holding his opening service game and than having three more breakpoints which he would convert to take another early 2-0 lead. Krajinovic would respond once again earning a breakpoint the following game and getting the break back to go back on serve until 3-3 when the Serb had his first chance to take a lead in the third set but the Canadian would come up with a huge point to save it.

The next game Auger-Aliassime would have a look at another breakpoint and this time would convert to take a 5-3 and serve for the match but struggled to close it out and the world number 36 broke serve once again.

With the Serb serving to stay in the match the Canadian increased his game to another level and managed to earn two match points. Sealing his first match win in Rome with a huge forehand winner down the line.

After the match in his post match press conference Auger Aliassime spoke about how he was able to overcome the adversity of having two chances to serve it out.

” You have to believe and be resilient at times, I wanted to win badly so I dug deep and I found a way so I am happy that I was able to find a way with all the circumstances,” he said.

Auger Aliassime will next face the number eight seed at the tournament Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine currently has a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head with their last meeting coming last October in Cologne, Germany on a indoor hard court.

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Alexander Zverev and Tim Puetz reach the semifinals in the doubles tournament in Madrid

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Alexander Zverev followed up his win against Rafael Nadal in the singles quarter final with a 6-4 3-6 10-5 win alongside his teammate Tim Puetz against Denis Shapovalov and Rohan Bopanna. 

 

On Saturday Zverev and Puetz will take on Marcell Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, who beat Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 7-6 (7-3) 6-2. 

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic battled past Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 10-7. Mektic and Pavic are bidding for their sixth title in 2021 and their Masters 1000 trophy after winning in Miami and Monte-Carlo. The Croatian team set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Munich BMW Open finalists and Singapore Open champions Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, who edged past Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-3 3-6 10-5.

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Five Takeaways From Men’s And Women’s Rome Draws

Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu all return to Rome next week.

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Novak Djokovic (@usopen - Twitter)

Here are five things to take away from Men’s and Women’s singles draw from Rome.

 

Next week is the start of the next stop on the road to Roland Garros as the ATP and WTA tour heads to Rome next week.

The Italian capital will host a star-studded line-up as Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep look to defend their titles.

With another week of stacked ATP and WTA draws here, let us take a look at the five key points to take from this week’s draws:

  • Nadal Set For Zverev Rematch

Rafael Nadal could have a rematch with Alexander Zverev again in Rome next week as has already faced a mixed start to the clay court season. A quarter-final defeat to Andrey Rublev in Monaco was followed by a Barcelona title before losing to Zverev in the Madrid quarter-finals this week. It looks set to be another week where Nadal could face the tall German, whom he has lost on three consecutive occasions to. Before Nadal can get to Zverev, Nadal may have to overcome Jannik Sinner and Casper Ruud, two rising stars who are capable on this surface.

  • Serena Handed Good Draw On Tennis Return

Next week will see Serena Williams return to a tennis court for the first time since her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Naomi Osaka. Having had her physical struggles since the end of last season, Serena now competes in a limited schedule but will be keen to boost her Roland Garros chances next week in Rome. The 23-time grand slam champion could face Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska in her first match before Belinda Bencic stands in her way of a rematch with Osaka in the last eight.

  • Djokovic Looks To Avenge Recent Clay Losses

After winning the Australian Open in January, Novak Djokovic would have wanted a better clay-court season than he has had after being knocked out by Dan Evans in the third round in Monaco and an epic semi-final loss to Aslan Karatsev in Belgrade. After taking Madrid off, Djokovic looks to build momentum and may have to face Dan Evans again this week in his first match. The likes of Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas await Djokovic en route to the last four where Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev will wait for the Serb.

  • The Barty Party Looks To Roll On

Ash Barty is silencing the critics week by week and proving why she deserves her world number one ranking after winning Miami, Stuttgart and reaching the final in Madrid. In two of those three tournaments mentioned Barty would have played Aryna Sabalenka in the final. Although that won’t be happening in the final, she could face the Belarusian in the quarter-finals in Italy as a fairly comfortable draw has presented itself for the Australian. Barty’s first opponent will be either Martina Trevisan or Yaroslava Shvedova.

  • Bianca Andreescu Returns

After suffering an injury in the Miami final and testing positive for COVID-19 in Madrid, Bianca Andreescu looks to finally settle into a clay-court season as she returns in Rome. The tricky Canadian will start off against Anastasija Sevastova or Jil Teichmann before facing Petra Kvitova. If Andreescu can negotiate the first two rounds then a dream match with Simona Halep could await in the last eight. As for Halep her Rome campaign could start against Angelique Kerber.

Here is the full ATP and WTA draw:

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