Daniil Medvedev is looking to cap arguably the most successful season of his career this coming week in Turin, where he intends to shake off three heart-breaking losses at the Nitto ATP Finals last year.
Medvedev, who has won a career best 64 matches this season to sit at No.3 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings coming into the season finale, was in high spirits at Friday’s media day activity at the Palace of Turin, projecting to his opening round-robin match Monday against close friend Andrey Rublev.
“I love playing in Italy,” Medvedev told ATP Media. “I think, honestly, Italian fans love me. I had great support all the time I have been playing in Rome and Turin. So I am happy to be back and hopefully I can show some good tennis.”
Medvedev won a career-best five titles this season, including an unexpected ATP Masters 1000 on clay in Rome. When asked about his season overall, Medvedev remarked, “If we take out the Grand Slams, it’s the best of my life. I don’t have a Grand Slam because Carlos and Novak are playing very good tennis. Still a very good year, especially the first part of the year.
“The second part was great for different reasons, but probably just a little bit worse. I would have wanted one title because I was not able to get one. The season is not finished so I’m going to try to show my best here.”
This is Medvedev’s fifth consecutive appearance at the season finale. While the former US Open champion won the title in 2020 and reached the final in 2021, he also experienced going 0-3 in the round-robin in 2019 and 2022, although last year’s hat-trick of defeats were all in third-set tie-breaks.
“It’s very tough,” Medvedev said of the challenges the tournament presents. “From the first match you play against a Top 10 player, which never happens on Tour, other than here. You have to play your best from the first match if you want to try to win the whole thing.”
Winning the title in 2020 with a semi-final win over Rafael Nadal and a championship match triumph over Dominic Thiem was an enormous boost for Medvedev going into 2021. Reflecting on his semi-final and final performances that year, he said, “I managed to turn these matches around. Two very big victories for my confidence and because of it, the next year, I managed to make an amazing year.”
Medvedev has been drawn in the red group alongside Carlos Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev, and Rublev.
Assessing the challenge of playing Alcaraz, Medvedev emphasised how complete a player he is. “Carlos is tough. He has all the arms. The drop shot is kind of a weapon. He can volley well, serve well.”
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On facing Zverev for the sixth time this season, Medvedev was quick to point out a stat: “We will play for the 18th time and I saw that it was a record without playing at a major. Last time I played well and beat him, so I am going to try to do the same this time.”
Medvedev plays Rublev in the night match on Monday. He leads 6-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, but is well aware of the danger he presents.
“I think he improved a lot this year. He won a Masters 1000. The match I played against him at the US Open and the match I saw against Novak at Wimbledon, I think he improves step by step even more. Every match against him is tougher and tougher. I am going to have to fight my best, run a lot, and try to get him.”