Wed, 29 Jun 2022

Medvedev hoping to be dangerous in Paris
18 May 2022, 19:13 GMT+10

The Russian lost his first match in more than six weeks at the Geneva Open on Tuesday but is aiming to find form

Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev has admitted he is not among the top contenders at the French Open, but is still hoping to pose a threat to his rivals at the clay court showpiece.

Medvedev went down in straight sets to French veteran Richard Gasquet at the Geneva Open on Tuesday, 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), in what was the Russian's first competitive action since the end of March after he underwent a hernia operation.

Next up is the second Grand Slam of the year in Paris, on a surface which is famously the least favorite for Medvedev.

"I don't play my best tennis on clay courts. I know that I'm capable of making some good results, as I did in the past. But for this I kind of need to be in the zone," Medvedev said after his loss to Gasquet.

"I don't feel as confident on clay as on other surfaces, that's why I lost 7/5 in the tie-break finishing with a double fault. It's disappointing but I've had tougher losses in my career.

"Physically I felt not bad. With more days of practice I should be ready for Roland-Garros."

Medvedev has frequently made his disdain for clay clear in the past, loudly complaining that he felt like a "dog in the dirt" at the Italian Open last year.

But the 26-year-old produced a career-best run at Roland-Garros last season when he reached the quarterfinals, losing to eventual runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Medvedev said he hoped to replicate that kind of performance again when the Paris showpiece gets underway on Sunday.

"I haven't played for a month and a half, two months. I'm going to try to work both physically and tennis-wise and hopefully I can find the game I had there last year, which is not going to be easy," said the 6ft 6in Russian.

"Clay for my body is the most dangerous surface. For me it's clay courts - every time, every year I have some problems where I cannot be 100%.

"I'm not a favorite for Roland-Garros but I do want to play well. If I can find my level again, I can be dangerous."

US Open champion Medvedev came close to earning a second Grand Slam title in Melbourne earlier this year, but fell victim to a staggering comeback from Spanish icon Rafael Nadal.

Should he avoid injury, 13-time champion Nadal will be among the favorites for the French Open title, alongside Serbian great Novak Djokovic and Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.

The French Open has cleared Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutrals, but warned them they must not display any message of support for the Russian leadership amid the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Medvedev and his fellow Russian stars are set to be banned from the third Grand Slam of the year at Wimbledon, after the tournament announced that all Russian and Belarusian players would not be invited.

The ruling has triggered widespread criticism among tennis players and officials, with Medvedev saying he could "understand" it from one perspective, while also labelling it "unfair."


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