© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Daniil Medvedev is pursuing his second Nitto ATP Finals title this week.

Exclusive: Medvedev Dishes On Italian Food, Defending Title In Turin & More

Russian has qualified for the semi-finals at the Pala Alpitour

Daniil Medvedev, who is the defending champion at the Nitto ATP Finals, has already guaranteed himself a spot in this year's semi-finals after clinching the top spot in the Red Group at the Pala Alpitour.

The Russian is trying to become the first player to win consecutive titles at the season finale since Novak Djokovic triumphed in four straight editions from 2012-15.

ATPTour.com caught up with the World No. 2 to learn about his run to the trophy last year, how he is enjoying Turin and what his favourite Italian food is.

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What sticks out to you from your run to the Nitto ATP Finals title last year?
The biggest memories were the semi-finals and the final. Of course I remember every match, every match was tough. But in the semi-finals I was down, Rafa [Nadal] served for the match.

I remember I felt like I was playing good. I was in great shape, I’d just won Paris. I was standing there and I was like, ‘Am I really going to lose like this 4 and 4 and just go back home?’ Home was close. It was the last tournament of the year, so I didn’t want to finish in this way and I was just happy I managed to break through, because you’re not going to make it [back] all the time, especially against somebody like Rafa.

In the final against against Dominic [Thiem] it was the same. He was completely dominating me for a big part of the match. I think either at 3-3 or 4-4 he had some break points and I remember one he had, it was kind of an easy forehand in a way. I was at the net, and he missed it. But that’s what tennis is about.

I managed to win both matches, they were two-and-a-half hours, two hours and 45 minutes. These two matches stay in my memory because they make the title even sweeter.

Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
What do you think about the tournament’s move from London to Turin?
It’s definitely different. It’s a different city, a different venue. You need time to get used to it. I feel like the first few days it’s always not easy when you come to any tournament you play for the first time.

Everybody is asking me how I feel as the defending champion. I’m always answering that I feel like there is no defending champion. It’s just a new champion in a new city, which is Torino. I really have enjoyed it so far, especially because I’m playing well. I hope for more.

How special are the Italian fans?
The Italian fans are passionate. We have a queue in front of our hotel no matter if it’s raining or sunny. Of course a little bit more when it’s sunny! That shows how passionate they are about tennis. I think we try to give back to them [to thank them].

What is your favourite Italian food?
To be honest I like so much Italian food, but I will have to go with panna cotta because I like sweets and it’s definitely very good in Italy. I took it two or three times before the tournament because during the tournament I don’t eat sweets.