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Daniil Medvedev owns a 16-9 record in 2020.

Medvedev: ‘I Am Really Motivated’

Russian is making his tournament debut in Vienna this year

With just three tournaments left on his 2020 schedule, Daniil Medvedev arrives at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna highly motivated to finish the season on a successful note.

The World No. 6 is aiming to put a disappointing run of results behind him, having won just one match in his past three events. Medvedev knows that big opportunities are ahead, with a maximum 3,000 FedEx ATP Rankings points available across his remaining events this year.

“I am really motivated. There are only big points left [for me], an ATP 500, a Masters 1000 and [the Nitto ATP Finals in] London,” said Medvedev. “[There are] only good things ahead, so I am really motivated to just be good, practise good and play good.”

Competing in Vienna for the first time, Medvedev is well aware that he will need to start strong if he is to enjoy a successful debut in the Austrian capital. The ATP 500 will host six Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings. World No. 15 and US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta occupies one of the unseeded positions in Medvedev’s section of the draw.

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Medvedev will open his Vienna title bid against European Open runner-up Alex de Minaur. If the Moscow native wins his opening match, he could face Felix Auger-Aliassime — the 2020 indoor wins leader (14-5) — in the second round. He also finds himself in the same half as defending champion and home favourite Dominic Thiem.

“The tournament here in Vienna is actually really strong, if you look at the seeded players and the rankings of all of the players,” said Medvedev. “The first rounds, some of them are just really, really strong, so it is always challenging to go really, really deep in this tournament. Even being in the semi-final will be a success already and if I manage to meet Dominic there, it will hopefully be a great match to watch.”

There is less pressure on Medvedev than some of his rivals in the Vienna draw. The Russian has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London for the second straight year. Having the opportunity to play in the most exclusive event on the ATP Tour is not only a dream come true for Medvedev, it also presents a chance to achieve new goals.

In his maiden appearance at the elite eight-man event last season, Medvedev was unable to claim a victory in the round robin stage. The 24-year-old is excited to have a second chance to show his best level at the tournament next month.

“When you qualify there it means that you made an outstanding season, especially when you do it for the first time. When you are young you dream of it, when you start to play Futures or Challengers, you think it is impossible to be one of the Top 8 players of the season because you know you have to make a few semi-finals at a Grand Slam, maybe a final and be good in the Masters 1000s, which is not easy,” said Medvedev.

“When you get there, it is one of the dreams and goals in your life come true. The next goal is to win a match there, the next goal is to win a tournament there or [qualify] out of the group. I take it step-by-step but, of course, being there two years in a row is still a big achievement.”

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There are two qualification spots remaining at the The O2 in 2020. Medvedev is hoping that his countryman Andrey Rublev, who has claimed four ATP Tour trophies in 2020, will earn one of those places so that they can fly the Russian flag together during the event’s 50th anniversary edition.

“It is amazing. [Andrey] actually reminds me of myself last year a little bit, talking about the results, of course, and the form he has shown and the way he is playing,” said Medvedev. “When you get this sort of confidence, every close match seems to go your way. It is really great.

“One of the amazing things is the last four ATP tournaments we had in Russia were won by Russians… It is really cool, really great and hopefully we can continue this way. Of course, him being super close to being in London is a good thing. I will [hopefully] have a good friend there to spend my time with.”

Russia is currently the only nation to have multiple representatives in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. The success of Medvedev, Rublev and 2018 Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov has led to increased attention from the media.

“We made [it onto] the same TV show in Russia, which is quite famous on the main channel. Karen did it after he won Paris-Bercy, I did it after my run, actually after I won St. Petersburg and Andrey did it after he won St. Petersburg. Three years in a row, three different people, so it is inspiring. Hopefully one day there is going to be three Russians in the Top 10 [at the same time].”

Medvedev might not be able to influence the results of his Russian counterparts this week, but he can turn a corner this week in Vienna as the 2020 ATP Tour season nears its climax.

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