Ruud's Search For Clues To Solve Medvedev Riddle
Speaking after overcoming Andrey Rublev on Friday to go 2-1 in Green Group action, the Norwegian admitted, “Tomorrow, I hope I can have the crowd on my side as I’m playing the World No. 2 and I’d appreciate the support. I will fight and run until I am too tired to run. I have lost to him twice before, so I have to come up with a better game plan tomorrow.”
Medvedev, the Nitto ATP Finals defending champion, has gotten the better of Ruud in their two previous matches at the 2020 ATP Cup and at the Mallorca Championships in June. The Russian is 12-2 indoors this year and five of his 13 tour-level crowns have come on indoor hard courts.
“I will go tonight and look at the match ups against myself, then look at footage of [Dominic] Thiem versus Medvedev in the past,” said Ruud. “I’m not similar to Dominic, but we do both play with quite a lot of topspin from the forehand. I think we both prefer to play the heavier shots with a lot of spin. Dominic has the potential to play so fast also, has a good slice, an unbelievable backhand, and I’d be interested to see what he has done in the past.”
“The past two or three years, Daniil have proved that he deserves to be on top of the world and tomorrow it will be my task to surprise him and try to beat him. It will obviously be tough, he is a great player, especially on an indoor hard-court. He has also struggled a bit [this week]. I think three matches in three sets, so he hasn’t been flawless and I hope I can find a way to force some errors from our match.”
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The 22-year-old Ruud, who recovered to beat Rublev 2-6, 7-6, 7-6(5) at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, has now won 11 straight deciding sets since losing to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at Roland Garros in May.
“My best service performance was against Cameron [Norrie on Wednesday], not the start, but in the second and third sets,” said Ruud, who has won 55 matches and lifted five ATP Tour trophies in 2021. “My serve got better as the match went on today. I have been working on it since Paris, also knowing in practice that the courts would be difficult to return on.”
“It was a great feeling and a relief [today], on the match point, to serve an ace. The toughest thing about the sport is the more you win, the more matches you play, and they become tougher. It’s the first time I have experienced the Nitto ATP Finals and I hope to play a good match [tomorrow].”