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September 3, 2019

Daniil Medvedev

New York, NY, USA

D. MEDVEDEV/S. Wawrinka

7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you pull that off after being so injured in the first set? Remarkable performance.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I mean, as I said after the match, now I'm a little bit more relaxed so it's easier to talk about this. After the match, it was tough for me to express many emotions because I felt the way I won was quite ugly, because that's what I had to do.

I am still really painful in my leg. I knew I have to play without rhythm. Some games I have to not run to relax my leg. I was hitting full power, then suddenly I was doing dropshots in the middle.

I knew I should not give him any rhythm. In crucial moments maybe it will make him miss. That's what has worked.

Of course, I would prefer to win in a normal way with a normal tennis game, but that's how I won. Hopefully physically I will feel better normally, yes.

Q. You mentioned in the post-match interview that you were close to retiring, thought about it. How close were you to not finishing the match?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: To be honest with you, it's tough to answer because I want to say really close, but at the same time maybe I would just stay there for three sets, finish the match like this.

But I can say that, yeah, first two sets, I didn't have any emotions because in my mind, I'm losing the match because of my leg. I'm either going to retire or come back to the locker room in one hour as the loser of the match.

Then when it was like 5-3 in the second, I was like, Okay, now I'm starting to get stressed because I'm close to being 2-0 up in the sets. I'm definitely not going to retire when it's 2-0 up for me, yeah.

Q. As a young player, what do you know of the history of Rod Laver and his two Grand Slams, where he won all the majors, completed the second one, 50 years ago?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I know that he's only one to make it. That's huge. Of course, I couldn't see him play. I can only see some short clips of him winning these majors. I saw some this week where he throw the racquet up.

But other than that, I can say that of course he's one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Have no words to describe how much respect I have for him.

Q. You got a little bit fortunate in the draw because you get two days off now. How lucky do you feel about that?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I'm feeling really lucky about it because I didn't know this before the match or during the match. As soon as I went out of the court, somebody told me that, Now you have two days.

I was like, Really?

I didn't know. I thought it was going to be normal, one day off, you go to play. That's huge advantage regarding what happened to my leg. I think, as I say, I don't want to say anything yet, but I think it should be okay.

Q. Do you feel you're friends again with the fans here?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Hopefully. It's not for me to decide. As I said in the post match, even after the previous round, what I got I deserved. Usually I'm not like this, as I was in the third round match. I'm not proud of it. I'm working to be better.

Hopefully I can show the bright side of myself.

Q. As a young player, what do you know about Marat Safin, who won two slams, here in the year 2000, and he was well-known also because of his sense of humor? You're coach said you are a sort of genius because you are a little bit unpredictable. Compare you and Safin.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It's a little bit easier for me to talk about Marat because I saw him play live, I mean, on the TV. I was five, six years old. Or was I seven or eight? I don't remember. He won the Australian Open in the final against Hewitt.

Q. 2005.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: 2005, I was nine. I think it was against Hewitt. All Russia were in front of their TV cheering for him, kind of sending him good energy because he was playing an Australian in Australia. It's not easy.

Comparing our games, I think we have totally different style. I heard many comparisons of me to Davydenko a little bit. I think it's closer.

I can say that many people, when they were watching Marat when we were young, that's why we threw racquet. You're watching him and you think it's cool. You think, Okay, I'm going to be like Marat, I'm going to break my racquet right now.

I grew up on his tennis. What he did for Russian tennis is just amazing. He will be forever in Russian tennis history, in world tennis history.

Q. Are you surprised by your run this summer? What do you think the key to your breakout is? What is the strength of your game?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I am surprised. I am surprised. That's what I've been working for all my life, especially the last two and a half years. That's where I've been going step by step. I was improving my rankings. But I am still really surprised with the way this last four weeks have been going.

I mean, so many circumstances. Usually when you make a final like I did in Washington, come to Montreal, you're a little bit tired. You're like saying to yourself, Okay, I've done already a final, maybe this tournament is not that important, I'm a little bit tired.

Then I've done final of a Masters, which was the best result in my life so far. Coming to Cincinnati, same. We came on a charter jet that tournament has provided to us. I think I was in the hotel like at 3:30 in the morning.

I had to play. I had one day to relax, then I had to play Kyle Edmund. Again I was like, Okay, now I've done the best result of my life, maybe I should take this tournament easy. Then I won it (smiling).

Yeah, a lot of controversies, really surprised. That's what I've been working for. That's what I've dreamed of. I've achieved some of what I've dreamt.

Talking about my game, I think it's the tactics a lot, and consistency, yeah. It's tough to say. I have a lot of strengths (smiling).

Q. Next you have either Federer or Dimitrov. Can you assess what kind of games you expect against each of them?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: First of all, I always say when I play before my opponents that I will enjoy the match. I'm going to watch. They're playing late. I'm going to be in my hotel room watching the whole match, unless they finish at 2 in the morning, then I'm going to be sleeping.

I mean, both amazing players. Roger is probably greatest of all time, I should say. I played him two times, I think.

Q. Three.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Three times right now. Didn't get the win. Playing against him is something special. Of course, to get one more opportunity to get the win in such big event, in such later stage, will be amazing.

At the same time really happy for Grigor, that he's coming back to his shape maybe. I think he's 78 in the rankings right now before this week, so he's definitely going to go up. I saw some matches of him here. He was playing unbelievable, I think. Did he drop a set? I'm not sure.

As I say, he was playing unbelievable this week. We all know what he's capable of when he's playing like he can.

Q. Obviously you're still focusing on this tournament. You also qualified for the World Tour Finals for the first time today. How much does that mean to you? How much of it is a sign of your improvement this year?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, it's amazing. As I say, before the US Open Series I think I was No. 8 or 9 in the race. I always had my thought in my mind, I need to focus on the next tournament, but maybe I can qualify for London, maybe I can be there at the end of the year.

Just in four weeks with the results I've had I'm officially there and nothing can be changed. That shows what a great year I'm having, that the work I've been doing is paying off.

But I don't want to stop. Hopefully I can be there as one of the favorites.

Q. Do you think much about the rankings? Now with the live rankings, you're at 4. Does that come into your mind at all or are you easily able to put it to one side?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I'm easily able to put it to one side. At the same time I saw so many articles that if I'm going to win this match, I'm going to become No. 4, that I couldn't be surprised right now saying, Wow, I'll going to be No. 4.

But as I say, I'm capable to put it aside because for me I always say my first goal is to win every match I play. As I said earlier, I think four matches out of five here I could have lost, maybe I should have lost some of them. I managed to win them because I take it match by match. I'm focusing on, Okay, how can I beat my opponent today? That's how I take it.

Q. From the three matches you've had with Roger, what do you take away from those experiences in terms of understanding the challenge he presents for you?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, to be honest, when you play the big three, as we call them, it's always special because the one that has the least slams of them has 16, which means four each year for four consecutive years, which is just unbelievable.

I played all three of them this moment of my career. When you go out there and you even warm up with them, you feel that they have something better than us. Let's call it like this.

Talking about Roger, yeah, played him three times, three tough times. Could have won one of them maybe in Shanghai. The other two were not even close.

It's actually interesting when it's like this because the more matches I play against opponents that I cannot really play, the more I'm trying to push myself higher.

For example, this year I think I've beaten I can talk about Edmund and Pouille that I couldn't beat before. They were tough for me. Of course not like Roger, but that's how I take the challenge.

Q. You had this incredible run during this last August. We are talking about 21 matches played. You lost just two finals. It means an average of one match every day and a half. It's outrageous.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I agree with you.

Q. Dominic Thiem sometimes has been criticized for playing too much. Is there a risk, like overcharging your activity?
(Telephone with the ring of 'I don't know'.)

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: That's not my answer (laughter).

I'm sure that there is a risk for my body. But talking about why I've been playing so much, it's exactly what I said earlier. I came to Washington to get used to the jetlag, to American heat. It's usually really hot in Washington. It was this year. It was kind of a transition tournament to get ready for US Open, for U.S. summer. Of course I wanted to win there.

Montreal, Cincinnati are two Masters that finally of course if I would lose in Cincinnati in quarters, I would have an injury, I would say maybe I should not have played it. I cannot say this. I made two best results of my life so far. That's how it is.

Also talking about here, if I would lose the first round, I would be saying, Okay, I go to holidays. I relax my body. We're not talking about any risk.

It is how it is. Of course, I'm going to adapt my calendar after this, after this tournament. But hopefully my body will hold this.

Q. You mentioned Grigor's ranking earlier. Is it fair to say you read a lot about other players?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: No, I just like to read media. To be honest with you, the better I play, the tougher is to read everything about me.

It's really surprising because before I could just read one article in one week, say, Okay. Now I don't have time to read everything, but there is a lot.

Yeah, talking about Grigor, I think I should have seen it on Instagram or somewhere that he was 78 before this week. But as I say, I like to read tennis articles. I like to read comments. It makes me feel good sometimes.

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