Make Way For Medvedev! Russian's Winning Ways Create Locker Room Aura
With more wins than any other player on Tour this year, Daniil Medvedev has become a constant face in the locker rooms of ATP Tour events.
The third-seeded Russian aims for his 57th victory of the season on Friday when he plays Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters. But while his peers are used to seeing him around as he winds down his sixth year on Tour, Medvedev admitted the vibe around him has shifted after reaching five consecutive finals over the past two months.
“I do think [they treat me differently]. I start to feel different even if I try to stay the same. Other players talk to you differently,” Medvevev said after his third-round win on Thursday over Vasek Pospisil. “It’s done unconsciously. It’s the way it is and the way it will be for everyone who makes these kinds of results. The better results you do, the more different everything is.”
His winning ways have also led to more attention from the fans at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center. Medvedev has played all of his matches this week on Center Court 1 and his practise sessions are filled with fans hoping to catch a glimpse of him. But even if others view him differently, he’s working hard to not alter his own thinking.
”I actually do not take it as a positive or a negative because it's kind of normal. I just have to do my best to handle my obligations and then step up on the tennis court and try to win the match,” Medvedev said. "No matter if you drop [in the ATP Rankings] or if you go higher, there are going to be different situations in your life that you have to deal with and still be able to play good on the tennis court. Hopefully I’m just going to be better and better on the court.”
The Russian’s modest, workmanlike approach has led to him currently riding a six-match winning streak after taking the title last month in St. Petersburg (d. Coric). Medvedev has also won 26 of his past 29 matches. That aura of dominance can get in the minds of his opponents, as evidenced by him saving five set points in his opening set against Pospisil.
But while his career-high standing of No. 4 in the ATP Rankings carries the pressure of being a title contender in any event he plays, he still prepares for every match as though it’s a final. His showdown against Fognini will be no exception.
“I don't feel invincible, because I still lost some matches. If I would have won, let's say, five tournaments in USA that I played, then I would tell you, 'Yeah, maybe I am,'” Medvedev said. “I'm trying my best to keep the form I have. It's really not easy, because as soon as you relax a little bit, the results will start to fall. That's why I'm trying not to relax. I'm practising as hard as I can and playing my best in the tournaments also.”