February 15, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
D. MEDVEDEV/M. McDonald
6-4, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. 18 in a row. Were you more pleased today than with the previous rounds?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, thanks a lot. Today was a great match. I think maybe Mackenzie didn't show his best level. But I played a great match, was feeling the ball great, serving great, hit some good winners. Was feeling really good out there. That's the most important. I'm happy about it.
Q. When you feel that comfort on the court, where does it start from?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I don't think anything the player knows exactly. There are for sure days where you feel a little bit worse on the court, for sure days where you feel better. You don't really know where it's coming from.
The thing that you can make is to put all the chances on your side, how to say, to make everything outside of the court, on practice court, just before the match so that during the match you going to have the best chances to feel your best. Even if it doesn't happen all the time, that's what I've been trying to do since long time. Has been working well for me most of the times. Yeah, that's the most important.
Q. If you end up playing Andrey in the next round, will you talk to each other the next couple days?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, for sure. I don't know about other tennis players, but for me it would seem like 95% of the guys, it's part of our job. We're going to play each other maybe 10 more times in our careers, 15. For sure, I mean, almost 100% it's not going to be 15-0 for somebody.
It's our job. We can talk just before the match. Of course during the match we're going to try to win, fight for our best. You never know. Sometimes you can maybe even not fight on the court but, like, argue on the court or something because we're competitors. After the match we are great friends. There is no rivalry in this part of competition, I would say.
Q. In general, if you were to have an injury, would you rather keep it to yourself or do you mind if your opponents know?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: To be honest, depends what it is. Happened to me once against Wawrinka in US Open quarters where I actually in the first set thought I'm going to retire from the match. I was super lucky to win the first set. I was doing dropshots, going to the net like I didn't care because I thought I'm going to retire. I won the first set. I said, I will not retire after winning the first set. The painkillers started working, I started feeling better. I was lucky with two days off after this match. I had a strain, not a tear, and I managed to work a lot with the physios to get it better.
At this moment, for example, everybody could see it on TV. Sometimes I can cramp at the end of the match or something and nobody will see it because I'll try to keep it just for myself. Otherwise opponent is going to think, Okay, I will be all over him.
Depends what you have and what you think to do after. If you think you're going to retire or not, things like that.
Q. As you've matured in your career, into the quarterfinals now, what has been the mentality change coming into a major where you expect yourself to go far? It's easier for us to watch you do it, for you to as a player expect it, then pace yourself for two weeks of top tennis.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think two of the most important things, at least for me, first is experience. It's different, you know. You have always a day off between matches, which we don't have on normal tournaments. It's out of five sets. It's not that first games of the match you're going to hold yourself, but you need to know you can't give it all in the first set. You have to take care about yourself, also about your body.
I think the other thing is that when you're seeded higher, that's when you can have a little bit easier draws. Even the US Open, I made final. I was supposed to play Djokovic in quarters and Federer in the semis. Finally I played Wawrinka and Dimitrov, which is a little bit easier than playing Novak, who has 18 Grand Slams and stuff like this.
I remember, for example, Australian Open when I made first first round in a slam, I was feeling great, playing a great level, but I had Novak in the fourth round. I was the only one to take a set from him, but I lost. These two things, I find most important.
Q. Andrey got through. So the fact that you're close friends, does it make it any easier or tougher?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: For me it doesn't make a difference. As I said, on the tennis court we're going to try to win. Doesn't matter. If you can win 0-0-0, you're going to make it. You're not going to give two games at the end to say, He's my close friend, I'm going to give him two games. If you have to win 7-6 in the fifth, you're going to try to make it. Same for him.
As I say, after the match or before the match, unless there's a huge fight during the match, which I doubt, one of us going to say congrats to another one. We'll be disappointed with the result, but we'll move on and have many more matches to come.
For me doesn't make a difference, to be honest.
Q. Will you call him Jannik?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: No, otherwise he would not be happy after the match.
Q. How has what the world has endured the last year affected your understanding and appreciation of the privilege to play?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I mean, I always felt privileged to play tennis, especially to earn money playing tennis. That's something I like. Sure, there can be tough moments during your career, but it's something I like doing.
If you manage to be good at it, you're going to make a good living, so I'm happy about it. For sure when we had tennis stop for such a long time, I knew at one moment it's going to come back, so I practiced, I knew that at one moment I will need to show a good level again.
But it makes you, yeah, appreciate more things like the crowd here, we had it, now we don't have it. We feel like we are missing it. So hopefully in few days we're going to have it again. It's the same with everything.
Q. You mentioned the top players. If you had to reflect between Roger and Rafa and Novak, who is really the strongest or the best, who would you say and why?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: For me all of the three because even no matter how much Grand Slams, how many Grand Slams they all have at the end of their career, what they did in tennis is amazing. I remember when Sampras beat the record of the Grand Slams, I was really young. I remember all the news, sports news, saying, This record is forever. Just like Messi and Ronaldo in football. Then the three guys came, they just not beat the record, they destroy the record. What is this number?
Is amazing because, for example, me, I'm 25, I'm playing good tennis. I feel like I'm one of the top players in the world. I have zero slams. Imagine for me to get to 20, I need to win five years in a row every slam. Roland Garros I'm not so good so far (smiling). Five years in a row I need to win every slam against amazing opponents, five-set matches, not be injured. That's ridiculous numbers. For me, they're the three for sure greatest players in the history of tennis.
Q. When you were growing up, were your tennis idols or favorite players Russian players or from elsewhere? Who were they? How big a deal in Russia will it be to have three quarterfinalists here?
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, first of all, it's going to be amazing if Andrey wins, it's going to be for sure one Russian in the semis.
Q. He did, by the way.
DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Okay, Ruud retired. I didn't know.
So it's amazing (laughter). It's definitely one Russian in the semis, three Russians in the quarters. I'm not sure if it's the first time in the history, but probably. It's great for our sport. We are both, with Andrey, really happy for Aslan, because he was practicing good in ATP Cup. We felt like he could do something amazing. To be honest, being in your first Grand Slam main draw and making quarters is something exceptional. He's not over yet. Let's see how he does tomorrow.
Talking about idols growing up, for sure, I loved watching the Russians play. I was always supporting them. After I never had an idol because I always wanted just to be myself. I didn't want to be like someone else.
For sure when I watched, say, Roger and Rafa playing all the finals, it was just great to watch. I never even supported anyone exactly in these matches, I just liked to watch it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports