Daniil Medvedev in Florida has clear ideas: annul the defeat suffered in the Indian Wells final and win again. The Russian’s great run in that first part of the season was punctuated in 19 consecutive successes and halted by a at times crowded Alcaraz in the 2023 top 1000 final. Medvedev said despite the discreet punches fixed in the final act, he was still satisfied with the excellent tournament in California where he had never shone. The conditions in the desert never liked him so much that he reached the final of the tournament that just ended, but kept complaining about the slow playing conditions and bad balls. Between press conferences and field changes, he bickered with everyone, even going so far as to threaten an endless restroom break, slow as cue balls…
Landing in Miami, the Muscovite seemed very refreshed after trying balls and courts that were finally faster and more to his liking. “The courts here are fast, I have nothing to complain about there,” said Medvedev during the media day, “I’ll wait for a real game on this hard court to see whether my position on the court works when I have possession of the ball. The opponent has it flies faster not much time to serve and volley or play from the baseline. The fields are really fast here so I won’t complain. In the Indian Wells final there was a moment when I tried to play a bit more aggressively, closer to the baseline, but in those two games Alcaraz served real bombs, it didn’t help me. It’s not that easy to change the dynamic of a game, it can look different from the outside.”
If there is a rematch against Carlos. Daniil sees it this way: “If we meet again this week, who knows, maybe I shouldn’t play like that at the back, although I’m not sure I would eventually. If I lose two straight games against Carlos and stay behind the field and get defeated in both with the same ease, then it’s clear that I have to change something. But it’s too early to tell.”
2023 seems to have been happier for the Russian after a not so good 2022: “One way or another I’ve managed to get back to where I want to be, to rediscover those feelings that I didn’t have in the entire 2022 season where I was very inconsistent. I’ve had some good wins, had some good tournaments, and out of nowhere, a bad game came and I lost. I am also very happy and want to continue on this path.”
In Miami, Medvedev is fourth seeded, inserted at the bottom of the table. He will meet Spain’s Carballes Baena in his debut, while he could face Berrettini or De Minaur in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, his potential opponent could be Hurkacz, winner of the 2021 edition (vs. Sinner in the final) and his executioner last year in the quarterfinals. The quarter-finals is the Russian’s best result in his four participations so far (2021, 2022). Any rematch against Alcaraz would be the final, but the road is very, very long.