Medvedev Set for Netflix Binge After Marathon Month
As Daniil Medvedev threw down three straight aces to win the Western & Southern Open title, the Russian could barely raise his arms to celebrate.
There was no euphoric reaction. Medvedev didn't collapse to the court or let out a rapturous roar. That is the typical response to clinching your first ATP Masters 1000 crown.
After a marathon 18 matches in 20 days, he was simply too exhausted. As the 23-year-old spoke to ESPN's Brad Gilbert just moments later, he revealed what he's really looking forward to.
"I've been playing for so many days in a row," Medvedev told Gilbert. "I just need to stay in bed and watch TV for 24 hours a day. I hope to get to the US Open feeling fresh."
Daniil, may we suggest 'Stranger Things'? After all, the Russian has defied the odds in reaching three finals in three weeks, culminating in his maiden Masters moment in Cincinnati.
He defeated David Goffin 7-6(3), 6-4 in the championship, capping a remarkable run that has seen him win 13 of 14 matches in straight sets and stun World No. 1 Novak Djokovic from a set down on Saturday. But, even the hottest player on the planet needs a rest. For Medvedev, that begins tonight.
"In Russia we say 'who doesn't risk, doesn't drink champagne'. So I'm drinking champagne tonight," Medvedev told the assembled media following the match.
"If you would have asked me before the tournament how would I celebrate, I'd probably say that I'm going to fall on the court, I'll start screaming and jumping and then raising my hands up.
"I was so exhausted during all the match, to be honest. And especially at 5-3, I started cramping everywhere. Of course I tried to not show it. This last game, at 15/40, I cramped everywhere. And then I made four amazing serves. When I hit the last one, I'm like, 'Wow, it's finished'. And I had no, zero force inside of me to do anything. It is how it is."
Medvedev opened the month of August with a shiny new Top 10 spot in the ATP Rankings. Three weeks later, he will enter the US Open with a No. 5 next to his name. The highest-ranked Russian rises to a career-high on Monday, after a 14-2 run on the North American hard courts.
A final at the Citi Open in Washington was followed by another runner-up finish last week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. While Medvedev admits that three finals in three weeks would be a satisfying achievement, it tastes even sweeter with a piece of silverware.
"I have to say even if I wouldn't have finished with the trophy, these weeks were amazing and the best in my life. But of course I think with the trophy it is better. Especially if I would have lost three finals in a row, I would not have doubted myself but started asking how is it possible? Three finals and I lost all of them? What should I do differently in the final?
"I don't have to ask myself these questions. It's been the best week in my life. Mentally it was the best in my life. My serve was the best in my life. My tennis was really consistent. I didn't have one bad match. I'm just extremely happy. And hopefully I can continue this way well through all my career but hopefully at least the next few weeks."
Medvedev admits that he was monitoring his progress in the ATP Rankings as the weekend arrived, wondering if he'd reach the Top 5. With that question resolved and a Top 5 seed also awaiting him at the US Open, he enters Flushing Meadows in search of a Grand Slam breakthrough.
"That's a huge achievement which I couldn't probably believe three weeks ago, because I just entered the Top 10. I was saying, 'Well, it's going to be good if I manage to stay there for some time, hopefully for a long time.' Now I'm Top 5. That's huge.
"We will work on a plan with my team, how to make the best plan to recover and to be ready for Monday or Tuesday. I would say I should be. There are no reasons for me not to be ready for the US Open."