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September 8, 2019

Daniil Medvedev

New York, NY, USA

R. NADAL/D. Medvedev

7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you think you'll remember tonight?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I definitely will remember tonight. I'm sure even talking about Rafa's 19 Grand Slams, I'm sure he remembers his first final, even though he won it and I lost it.

I mean, was amazing match. It's an amazing story. All this summer is amazing for me. I will remember every moment of it. I have a really good memory if we talk about tennis. I'll definitely remember it even when I'm, like, 70 years old.

Q. But tonight specifically, what will you remember most?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Just the match itself. I mean, everything about it, starting from the first point of the match. Of course, talking about third set when I was break down.

As I said in my speech, it was true, I was thinking, Okay, in 20 minutes I have to give a speech. What do I say? Something like this.

I was like, Okay, okay, just fight for every point, don't think about these things. It worked out not bad.

Was I close to winning? Yes, one set away. I mean, had breakpoints at 5-4. I will remember everything of it. I will be disappointed with the result, but I will be happy with the way I played, as I say, the whole summer, the whole US Open.

Q. You've beaten Novak, some of the other guys who are your age are doing well, are we seeing the game change now?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It's tough to say because I don't want to talk by myself about this. It's better for you guys, the journalists, experts, to talk about these kind of things.

I can say that I'm sure all of us, we're fighting our best to try to make this transition. It's really tough because these guys, they are playing good tennis. I don't know what else to say. They are just playing amazing tennis.

It's really tough to beat them, even to get a set from them, even every game to win is tough. We're just doing our best job to try to make it happen sometimes.

Q. How much do you think you grew up over the last two weeks?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I would say was all the summer, so four weeks. You mean US Open?

Q. Yes.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yes. Amazing experience. My wife always tells me that I have to be happy about myself sometimes, because I'm really self-criticizing. For example, tonight I'm not happy to lose, but I have to give myself credit for these two weeks. It's been amazing.

Before the tournament, my best result was fourth round of a slam. I had some physical problems. Sometimes I didn't play as good as I wanted. But I managed to be in the final. I managed to give huge fight to one of the best players in the history of our sport.

Have to give myself credit. I hope I grew a lot doing these things. But I need to continue and I need to be better.

Q. You said in Russia they have a saying, If you don't take risks, you can't drink champagne. Today you took many risks. Talk about your mindset.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I have to say it's all about tactics. For example, talking about Cincinnati, talk more about this final, I'll be fast. It's just that I saw that Novak was killing my second serve, so I had to go for the first one.

Talking about tonight, same. First two sets, I was kind of close, but at the same time Rafa was a beast out there. I felt like everything I do, he has an answer. So I was continuing to try something, to find something new. I was going to the net sometimes, doing some dropshots, some slice. I tried everything.

As I say, these, I have to say, three guys, they are legends. The way they're playing tennis is just unbelievable. When you are out there, tactically it's tougher than against anybody else.

For three sets, for two sets and until a break, I was thinking, Okay, what should I do? Then I found something. I don't know what is it, but I managed to be better in the game. And after, it was an equal match, I should say.

Q. Could you have imagined a week ago that you would get the kind of cheers here this soon?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I mean, I have to say I'm being myself, talking about bad things, not proud of them, but I was being myself. Talking about good things and getting the crowd back, which I should be surprised.

Again, I was being myself. I was fighting for every point. I think they appreciated it. As I said, being break down in the third, I won the game, and I felt that these guys wanted some more tennis. They were cheering me up like crazy.

I knew I have to leave my heart out there for them also. For myself first of all, but for them also. I think they saw it and they appreciate it. I'm thankful to them for this.

Q. From the side it looks likes you have a very Russian character, playing Russian style. When the situation is not good, you do your best and player better. Is it true and if so why?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don't think it's a Russian style, because when I was junior, I was more Russian style, and more Russian style -- in tennis. I'm talking about tennis, not about life.

But many times it's tough. And I was like not tanking, I was never tanking, but I was giving up. I was like, Okay, it's too tough.

I've changed myself, especially being on ATP Tour, it's different than any other level. You change yourself every day.

As you say, I said it before the match, I knew I will be in the final of US Open, I will fight for every ball, no matter if it's 6-0, 6-0, 5-0, 40-Love, I'll just try to win one more point to say myself, Okay, I've done everything I could.

I can say I've done everything I could today.

Q. What went through your mind when you heard them chanting your name?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: The only thing going through my mind at this moment was I have to win next point, I have to win next game. I was not thinking too much, Okay, I'm from Russia, I'm in USA, they are cheering my name, what should I do? No.

As I say, I mean, it was a pleasure to be out there tonight. They were sometimes cheering my name, sometimes they were going for Rafa. I think it was just because the arena is so huge, there were so many people cheering both names, it was like changing all the time. I don't think it will be same people cheering two different names from one point to another.

Yeah, the atmosphere was the best of my life, I have to say.

Q. What words did you share with Rafa at the net?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I don't remember everything. Well, I congratulated him. He said congrats to me for my week, that I'm amazing player. I basically said he's also an amazing player (smiling).

Then I said what I think is they have a great contest between three of them, and I wished him luck to be one of the three, to be better, yeah. Because I do think they have a great contest, and it's fun to watch.

Q. You mentioned your wife said you are critical of yourself. Is fear an emotion out there for you, fear of losing, messing up?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don't think so. I can be more afraid of messing up like I did in my third round. This I can be afraid because that's what I don't like.

Talking about tennis, of course you can have fear, but it's more when you are in the down moment, like I was this year once. I lost I think four or five matches in a row. That's when you have fear going out on the court. You're like, Am I going to lose again? Am I going to win or not?

After the summer I had no fear. I had everything to win. I think it's Rafa who had something to lose. I went out there, I gave everything I could, and I'm proud of myself.

Q. You said you were thinking in 20 minutes I might have to give a speech. When you start getting the momentum, you're going to a fifth set, how difficult was it for you to keep focused?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Was not difficult because, as I say, I mean, even though it's my first Grand Slam final, I've been playing tennis for 17 years. Had a lot of big matches, not as big as this one. I mean, I'm ready for these moments to just be there and try to win the match.

It's not the matter of focus or fear or any deconcentration [sic] in the fifth set. It's just the matter of two tennis players fighting against each other, because I always said tennis is a tough sport because you're only against yourself and your opponent. You don't have a team behind you to support you. You don't have anyone.

So, yeah, it was exactly this: two players fighting each other. He was the better one today. I have to admit it. I have no regrets.

Q. You showed to be a great warrior, wonderful player and athlete. Being so thin, how can you have that endurance? How do you see yourself at 33 years old running and competing like Rafael Nadal?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I do see myself at 33 years running and competing like Rafael Nadal. Although Rafa said it himself, that he changed his game a lot from younger age to be able to compete at the highest level. Maybe I'll have to do the same. This I cannot know.

Talking about my thin, it's just my structure. I mean, I work a lot physically especially, as I said, last two-and-a-half years when I dedicated my life to tennis when I'm on the, let's say, training camp in France where I practice. My coaches, they kill me physically to be ready for such kind of tournament, such kind of matches, such kind of summer.

I can be proud of my physical abilities this summer, and tonight also.

Q. You don't eat pasta and pizza?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I eat a lot of pasta. I try not to eat too much pizza. But Hawaiian one, I'm sorry. I know Italians would usually boo me for this but I like Hawaiian pizza (smiling).

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