Daniil Medvedev using Gilles Simon’s clay wisdom in Monte-Carlo | ATP Tour

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Medvedev channelling Simon’s clay wisdom for Monte-Carlo bid

World No. 4 takes on Monfils or Thompson first at ATP Masters 1000

April 08, 2024

Daniil Medvedev during practice ahead of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Daniil Medvedev during practice ahead of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
By ATP Staff

Daniil Medvedev achieved a first during the 2023 season when he captured his maiden tour-level title on clay at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

Ten months on and the 28-year-old is set to compete on the surface for the first time this year at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Having struggled on clay in the early years of his career, Medvedev revealed that last season’s success has given him a boost heading into this year’s European clay swing.

“Before I hated playing on clay, two to three years ago. Before the clay, I was motivated and excited and then I came and played and I was a little depressed for a couple of days and then I tried to handle it,” Medvedev said. “Now this year I thought, ‘OK, it is a change in surface and you have to adapt your mentality and game, maybe some shots’, but I am trying to do my best and I am looking forward to the tournament and so far it has been very calm and a good working process.”

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Medvedev, who has won just one of his 20 tour-level titles on clay, is renowned for his deep-lying court return position when competing on hard courts. The No. 4 player in the PIF ATP Rankings admits he won’t move too far away from that tactic on clay but understands the need to be flexible to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm.

“Sometimes I get a bit scared during a match to move forward because if I lose the match, I will be in the locker room saying that I should have stayed back,” Medvedev said. “I am trying to change it this year and be a little bit more unpredictable and work more the position in the front, which I can play. But sometimes I am not as good as at the back.

“On clay, it is a bit more important because guys serve differently with more spin on the bounce. If some guys kick the serve well you have to be in front. So on clay I am going 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 tour-level trophies on clay and Medvedev feels Simon’s understanding of the surface will benefit him during the coming months.

“Gilles left yesterday. He was here for the preparation phase and will be in Rome and Roland Garros. He is an ex-player, a good player. Good tactically and was playing good on clay, so from his side he brings small details. So far it has been working well,” Medvedev said. “It is me who plays on the court, so it is me who is the most important with execution and we just try to discuss some shots on clay which could be better. Some positions and tactical moments. It is not something crazy but small details and that is how it works in tennis. So far it is working well.”

Medvedev’s best result in Monte-Carlo was a semi-final run in 2019. The fourth seed will begin this year’s campaign against French wild card Gael Monfils or Jordan Thompson.

First appeared on www.atptour.com

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