© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Daniil Medvedev breaks Alejandro Davidovich Fokina's serve five times on Wednesday to advance in Madrid.

Medvedev's Secret Soft Spot: McDonald's!

The Russian will play Garin on Thursday

Three years ago, Daniil Medvedev was outside the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. At the time, the Russian wasn’t focussed on winning big tournaments like ATP Masters 1000 events like he is this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. Instead, he was more worried about fixing his diet and post-match routines.

Fewer croissants, more porridge was his motto at the time. But on Wednesday after defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Medvedev admitted that while fixing those things greatly helped his career, he still has a soft spot for a certain fast food restaurant.

“Many times when I lose a match or when I finish a tournament, I take McDonald's. I like McDonald's because it's really good in Russia,” Medvedev said. “It's much less good in USA and Europe. I don't know for which reasons [that is], so I many times regret taking it, but that's kind of a child’s dream. Many times if I lose a match, like when you are [down], I don't know, you take ice cream, I take McDonald’s.”

Medvedev certainly does not chow down on fast food during tournaments. That discipline is part of what has helped propel the World No. 3 to the top of the sport. The Russian does not regret making that choice.

“I was always saying, until I was 21 if I'm not mistaken, I was not really paying too much attention to small details,” Medvedev admitted. “I could enjoy life because I just thought that it wouldn't affect my tennis. Now I can say that when I sacrificed my life to tennis when I was 21, I said, ‘Okay, I'm going to go to bed early, I'm going to eat well.’ If I had a day off, I'm not going to walk for 10 kilometres to the beach. I'm going to rest and prepare for practice the next day. That's when the results came, so I [do not] regret it.”

On other off-court topics, a reporter asked Medvedev if he is superstitious, to which the 25-year-old said, “I feel like I'm not very superstitious. Just a little bit.” The third seed believes that many players’ superstitions simply come from routine.

“We need a good rhythm to play good, and to have a good rhythm you need to have a routine. The routine may be considered as a superstition,” Medvedev said. “For example, is it superstitious that I usually practise, of course if it's not a first match at 11:00, three hours [and] 30 [minutes] before? No, it's just to eat two hours [and] 30 [minutes] before [my match].

“But somebody [who] is more superstitious, [if] he's going to win his first ATP title eating three hours [and] 30 [minutes] before, he's going to say, ‘Okay, all my life I'm going to eat 3:30 before the match. We are all superstitious, some more, some less.”

Medvedev, whose victory against Davidovich Fokina was his first in Madrid, will next play 16th seed Cristian Garin for a spot in the quarter-finals.

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