Sunday, 6 October 2019
Pre-Event Press Conference
Q. Welcome to Shanghai. You have played so many tournaments in a row and winning so much. Must feel very relaxing, take two weeks off. What did you do in the past two weeks?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I needed to get my body back in shape. That’s why I couldn’t play Beijing, unfortunately, because I was too exhausted. I had some pain in my quadriceps, so I needed to take some time off.
I think my body is back in shape. I came here quite early in Shanghai to get used to the conditions, to the jet lag and everything. Hopefully I can be 100% on my first match.
Q. So much was made of sort of your behavior during the US Open. A lot of that is distracting from the tennis or you find it not?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I mean, I try to think still most about tennis, and I think I have done it very well regarding especially my results, even after the stories.
So of course tennis is the most important, but I’m also taking care of my behavior. I’m not happy of what I have done, I said it like a million times, but I hope it won’t happen again.
Q. We were delighted to see that you have been winning a lot in this season and we’d like to ask you, so we heard it’s your mental coach is one of the reasons. Can you please share with us how you form your team and what have you achieved thanks to your team?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I mean, my team is big part of my success. Of course it’s me holding the racquet, playing on the tennis court, but if I would just travel without anybody by my side I would never be where I am right now.
How I actually form my team is not an easy question, because to have somebody in my team, I need to feel good with this person outside of professional relationship. I need to feel good. I don’t know if we have dinner together or anything, or, for example, I decide to not have dinner with this person tonight that he’s going to be okay with it, because there are different people.
That’s how I form my team. Yes, I have mental coach in it, and she has helped me a lot to actually, yeah, just be more focused on the tennis court, on the goal, basically, to win the match than on other distractions. Even when there are other distractions, to still try to have the main focus on the victory, and that’s why I win so much (smiling).
Q. Can you reflect on the final from the US Open? Obviously people are talking about it being one of the greatest finals ever. First couple of sets obviously, I don’t know if it was nerves or whatever, but, I mean, it was quite an impressive match.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I heard that it was a good match (smiling). It’s tough to say, because I was playing it. I was not watching it on TV.
Actually, I mean, I would say it’s better for people to decide who saw whether it was not a good match or a great match. As you say, almost everybody loved it.
Me, I mean, I just fought till the end. Unfortunately was not enough, because I’m always disappointed when I lose. No matter if it was a great fight, great match, or I lose 6-0, 6-0, the result is the same.
I hope it will give me a lot of experience for future big matches like this, and hopefully next time I’m going to be the winner.
Q. Have you watched it, the video?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I have watched some highlights. Actually I should say even first two sets, that’s what I felt on the court, I was playing good. Just Rafa was too good for me. I managed to raise my level even higher, and that’s when the match got tight.
Q. How does a match like that change you and change your approach in how you go to future matches?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, to be honest with you, I mean, with the results I achieved already before this match, that changed a lot of things inside of me, because I always said that experience is a key. For example, before US Open, I have never been in the quarters of a Grand Slam.
So being there, winning these matches, getting in the final and playing this five-set match against Rafa, for sure it stays, I would say, inside your body, inside your mind. Just for the next time, if you get there or if you play against Rafa a five-setter, you will know probably how to do better, because that’s how it is for me.
Hopefully also for any other tournaments, I can just gain this confidence, experience, and be ready on every match I play because of it.
Q. We have a young Chinese player, Zhang Zhizhen. He improved his ranking more than 200 spots in the last month. I understand you used to train with him in France. Can you talk about his game, your relationship with him, and how does he have to improve to be a tour-level player?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, we’re really great friends when he practiced in our academy. I think maybe best friends there during this time.
Of course when he left, life is tough, so we never really spoke too much. But it’s actually funny, because just before the final with Rafa, like, the morning before the final, he texted me, Hey, I just won my first challenger title, so you need to win your first Grand Slam tonight (smiling).
It didn’t happen, but I really like Zhizhen. I really like his energy outside of the court and his game. Even when he practiced in other academy, everybody saw that he has a big game, big strikes. He can be top 100 easy.
After when you get to top 100, it’s tough to say whether you’re going to be top 10, top 5, or you’re going to just stay top 100. But that’s going to be the first step for him, and if he works hard, it’s really achievable.
Q. In Russia, after you won, you said that you were nervous before the final because of what happened last year when you lost to Borna, but you said you felt the gap has gotten bigger between the two of you. This gap, were you referring to more the technical aspects of your game or mentally you mean like coming in with more confidence because of the way you fought at the US Open?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think it’s everything together, because, well, I have been working really hard on every aspect of my game, both technically and mentally.
So it’s just that, yeah, before the match, losing him three times in a row last year on hard courts, and I should say even kind of easy, I was a little bit nervous first final in my home country for me. I was thinking, okay, maybe it’s going to be again his level is going to be too high for me.
But stepping out there I felt straightaway that I make him kind of suffer. He cannot really do anything against my game. So I just felt I need to continue, continue to push him, and finally I have to say the match was quite easy by the score.
Yeah, everything stepped up this year, especially in USA, and that’s what I was talking when I said that all this experience and confidence that I got during this USA trip and US Open, I think that showed also in the final against him.
Q. Obviously with your incredible results this year there is a lot more attention on you everywhere you go from the media and from other players. Do you view that as a positive or a negative? How are you dealing with that?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I actually do not take it as a positive or as a negative, because it’s kind of normal. So I have to take it as granted in a way that no matter if it would be me or anybody else it would be the same.
So I just have to actually do my best to, as I say, to handle with it, to do my obligations, to do what I need to do, to do it well, and then to step up on the tennis court, step out on the tennis court, and try to win the match.
No matter if you drop or if you go higher and higher, it’s going to be different situations around you in your life that you have to deal with and still be able to play good on the tennis court.
So that’s how I take it. And hopefully, as I say, I’m going to be just better and better on the tennis court.
Q. Do you feel there is a target on your back?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don’t feel this way, because many times we say that sometimes people go out there and they’re kind of scared of you. That’s why because they can lose before the match.
I think it’s both. It can be that he’s going to go out there and, Okay, Medvedev is amazing right now, I’m going to try to beat him, or it’s going to be, Okay, he’s too good for me.
I don’t know. You need to ask other players.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports