It’s time to get dirty; grudgingly so, for Daniil Medvedev. The Australian Open finalist hasn’t had great success on terre battue and admitted he likes nothing about playing on clay.
“Honestly, there’s nothing I like on clay,” Medvedev said ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters. “There’s always bad bounces, you’re dirty after playing. I really don’t enjoy playing on clay.”
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Of the 10 ATP titles he has won so far, none have come on the red dirt. The 6’6 Russian has also struggled at the only clay court major, Roland Garros. After four appearances, Medvedev is yet to win a match at French Open.
Even as the Masters event kicks off the European clay swing, the saving grace for Medvedev, a Monte Carlo resident, is that he gets to be at home.
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“[I’m] really happy to be here. I like the tournament. Played good once here,” Medvedev said. “[I] can stay at home, which helps with all the bubbles and everything. [I’m] really lucky to be able to stay at home this week.
“It’s very unfortunate that we won’t have any fans, but now all the club is for us. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful tournaments in the world right now.”
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It was in Monte Carlo that Medvedev recorded his best result on clay. He defeated Novak Djokovic in 2019 en route a semi-final finish.
“After what happened two years ago, I know I can play well on this court,” Medvedev said.
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“Every time I practise on clay, after I play my match, I try to do my best, but it’s difficult for me. Mentally I think for me the most important is going to be to know that some shots that maybe would be winners or which I would win the point on hard courts, it’s definitely not the case on clay courts.
“You need to do maybe three good shots, one of which would be enough on hard courts. That’s tough sometimes for me to understand.”
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Second seed Medvedev will be ready to give the clay another chance as he begins his quest for a maiden clay-court Masters 1000 trophy against Filip Krajinovic or Nikoloz Basilashvili.