Daniil Medvedev ‘ashamed’ after honest locker room conversation

Daniil Medvedev revealed that he sought advice from one of his compatriots after being left “ashamed” by his tough start to the season. The 27-year-old suffered an early Australian Open exit that caused him to drop out of the world’s top 10 but has since bounced back to win three titles in three weeks, with the latest coming in Dubai.

Medvedev extended his winning streak to 14 matches on Saturday as he downed last year’s Dubai champion Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-2 to win his third-successive title after picking up trophies in Doha and Rotterdam over the last two weeks. It’s an impressive turnaround for the Russian after going more than a year without a win over a top 10 player, having now won his last four since the start of February.

And the world No 7 admitted that it made his last three titles even sweeter as he went into Rotterdam – the first tournament of his winning streak – with no confidence. “Kind of unique I think because I don’t think I ever won three tournaments in a row. I was one time six finals in a row. I won three of them, and only two in a row. Great,” Medvedev said of his achievement of lifting three trophies in three weeks.

“Especially amazing because, as I say, tennis is weeks, weeks, weeks after weeks. For example, if I’m losing Indian Wells early, I probably straightaway lose the confidence. That’s sometimes how tennis is.” The former world No 1 lost his third-round Aussie Open match to Sebastian Korda in straight sets, referencing it as a low point that affected him when he started his winning run in Rotterdam.

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“What I’m saying is after Australian Open, tough loss, three sets to love. I was feeling bad. I was doubting myself before Rotterdam. I was not feeling good at all,” he continued. Medvedev then revealed that he tried to seek advice from an unnamed fellow Russian pro but was told that he shouldn’t need the help.

The newly-crowned Dubai champion explained: “I have a story. I went to one of the Russian guys getting ready for my match with Davidovich Fokina. I won’t tell you who it is. I was like, C’mon, man, tell me how to win a match. 

“He was like, You know better than me. I was like, No, I don’t know anything at the moment.” And the secret player has now been keeping up with Medvedev’s run, causing the 27-year-old to admit that he was “ashamed” after their chat. 

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“Now, after every tournament he’s texting me, Is it okay now?” he added. “I feel ashamed. But that’s how tennis is. I managed to keep some confidence going and I’m really happy about it.”

While Medvedev didn’t name the player in question there were only three other Russians in Rotterdam last month – his Dubai opponent Rublev, world No 102 Aslan Karatsev who came through qualifying to reach the main draw, and world No 109 Roman Safiullin who lost in qualifying.

Following his tough conversation in Rotterdam, the 18-time title winner will now go into Indian Wells full of confidence despite never making it past the round-of-16 in the Californian desert, and believes he is making good progress for the rest of the season. “Right now I’m feeling amazing,” he told reporters.

“As I said, tomorrow [is a] long flight to Indian Wells. New tournament, new story. Want to win some matches there. Of course, [I] want to win the tournament, but there is only one winner, so that’s not easy. The more I can achieve this season, the better. If I can manage to keep the level I played these three weeks, I can do big things and I know about it. Other players, they want to win also, so it’s not going to be easy.”

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