Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev Not Ready To Toe The Line In Miami

Former World No. 1 vows to stick to his winning formula... for now
March 22, 2023
Daniil Medvedev won 19 straight matches before falling in the Indian Wells final to Carlos Alcaraz.
2023 Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Daniil Medvedev won 19 straight matches before falling in the Indian Wells final to Carlos Alcaraz. By Paul Macpherson

Daniil Medvedev isn’t ready to throw out the playbook just yet.

Despite scavenging just five games from Carlos Alcaraz in Sunday’s one-sided BNP Paribas Open final, ‘Deep-court Daniil’ says that he won’t be altering his court position should he face the World No. 1 again at the Miami Open presented by Itau this fortnight.

“It's possible [that I may not play as deep] but I'm not sure if I would do it,” he said Wednesday of his next hard-court meeting with Alcaraz, whenever that might come. “For sure if I lose two matches in a row staying back and [I get beaten] just as easy I have to definitely change something. But one match is not enough."

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Alcaraz exploited Medvedev’s positioning through a combination of well-timed serve/volley plays, his signature drop shots, and by taking advantage of the slower court conditions to take big cuts from the ground to clock a series of winners past the 2021 US Open champion.

But Medvedev believes that faster conditions at other hard-court events – including in Miami – will favour his preferred position deep behind the baseline.

"I'll only have to wait for a match on faster hard courts to see if my court positioning will work when the ball is flying faster through the air and the opponent won't have as much time to play serve and volley and play from the baseline,” he said. “During the match there was a small time when I tried to play a little more aggressive and closer to the baseline. But on those one or two games he was serving bombs so that didn't help me. And it's not that easy to change things up during a match.”

Despite his 6-3, 6-2 loss to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells title match, Medvedev arrives in Miami high on confidence, having won 19 of his past 20 matches, a run comprising titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and the BNP Paribas Open final. That already is an improvement on the two titles he won last year. Medvedev, who is 23-4 on the season, said that rediscovering his consistency has underpinned his recent surge back into the Top 5 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

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“I managed to get back in the zone, which I didn't really have for all of 2022, when I was less consistent,” he said. “I would have some good matches or tournaments but out of nowhere I would have one bad match. I've managed to avoid that the past four weeks. I have no idea how I have done it, but I am really happy and want to continue.”

Medvedev’s first-round opponent in Miami will be the winner of the all-Spanish clash between Roberto Carballes Baena and Bernabe Zapata Miralles. He is in the bottom half of the draw, so could only meet Alcaraz should both players reach the final.


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