Daniil Medvedev has revealed what he learnt from his two spells as world No. 1 and his shock that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have “haters”.
Medvedev reached world No. 1 for the first time in February 2022 but only spent three weeks there.
He returned last summer, but again, only had a short stint before Carlos Alcaraz became world No. 1 after winning the US Open.
“I was really happy I managed to take this spot and hold it for that long. I was not happy with the level of my tennis and with the matches I lost, but this had nothing to do with the No. 1. It was just losing other tennis matches to other players.
“Are the tennis players trying to beat you more when you’re No. 1? I don’t know. I hope not because it would be better for them if they try to do it every match, no matter which number you are at the ranking.
“For sure, the pressure is not easy because you know that everyone expects a lot from you. I think that taught me even more because for sure, when I was 20 and just coming up, you love social media, you love reading all the comments about yourself, how people [say] ‘okay, he’s going to do good’, or even ‘he’s a bad player’, and when you’re young you sometimes answer to them ‘no, I’m going to do good’.
“This pressure of being No. 1, for sure a lot of haters, and that’s normal. Novak [Djokovic] has a lot of haters. Even Rafa and Roger somehow have them. You’re like, how is this possible? They shouldn’t have.
“That taught me to even less care about this and focus more on myself, on my close people around me because that’s the only way you can stay sane and true to you, to kind of, to have no regrets.
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“Just because someone said you should have put this backhand in the court, no, you know you did your best and maybe your coach is going to tell you if you should have done something better, and he’s the only person who can kind of tell you this.”
Medvedev is set to move to world No. 5 after his run in Indian Wells.
After an up-and-down 2022, the 27-year-old looks back to his best this year and is currently on an 18-match winning streak.
Such form could see him contend for further Grand Slam titles after he won his first at the US Open in 2021.
Asked about his ambitions, Medvedev, who has also lost in three other major finals, said: “My most important goal is to have no regrets when I finish my career.
“Meaning the match with Rafa [in the 2022 Australian Open final], for sure I regret that I couldn’t win it and didn’t have my second Slam. I was close, but I fought. I fought till the end. Maybe I missed some shots, but that’s sport.
“I don’t want to be, when I’m 35 or whatever and I retire, I don’t want to say, like I heard some other tennis players do, ‘if I would have done this different in my career, maybe my career would be better or I regret doing this’.
“I want to, when I finish my career, no matter how many Slams, tournaments won, or whatever, just to know that I have done my best.
“So far, I feel like I’m achieving my goal, even last year not the best year, but I was trying. I was trying hard, and I was doing my best, and it has been working this year. So that’s my biggest goal.”
Medvedev plays Frances Tiafoe in the semi-finals at Indian Wells.
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