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January 20, 2022

Daniil Medvedev

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

D. MEDVEDEV/N. Kyrgios

7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Pretty good match tonight. How pleased are you with your performance?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, it was definitely a tough match. Feeling a bit tired, but was, I think was playing great, both of us. Nick was, you know, because again, when you don't play for such a long time, you never know what to expect, and he was playing great.

Yeah, top level. I'm really happy to be the winner, because I think it could go anywhere tonight.


Q. How did you manage to keep your concentration, especially in the third set when it was going crazy for a bit?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I mean, they were trying, you know, to cheer him up. They managed to do it. I mean, he was playing pretty strong the third set where actually, you know, he could go down mentally because was two sets to Love for me, I was playing pretty well.

Yeah, he managed to step up his game. The crowd tried to help him, so I just -- I went out to change, change all my clothes, to feel a little bit more fresh, because I felt like I was missing this in the third set so changed, like, everything (smiling).

Just went out and was like, Okay, I have to serve even better. Try to return even better, even if it was not so bad. Yeah, managed to do it. Of course the breakpoint was pretty nice to make the passing shot, and I managed to serve well. And of course the breakpoint in the first game of the first set was also crucial where, well, he could win it but I managed just to put it on the court and it was enough.

Q. Did you enjoy the match tonight?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, I enjoyed to win (smiling). It was really not easy. I think we played for maybe three hours, 3:30. I actually didn't look. Yeah, it's not easy to play against the crowd. I feel like these matches, you know, they are not easy to play, but they stay as fun matches afterwards, because in the end, yeah, we gave the crowd a big show, I think. Probably Nick more, because, well, he's a big entertainer.

I think it was a great match to watch. Already got a lot of messages, not just congratulations like usual, but like, Wow, what a match, congrats, man, and whatever.

So I think if I'm gonna watch it, I'm going to enjoy it probably.

Q. I know you're a big sports fan and soccer fan and would know about Cristiano Ronaldo and stuff, but the "siuu" stuff seemed fairly annoying. Wonder what you think about it as you're experiencing it on court?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I have never been to a match with Cristiano so I don't know if they are trying to do like what Cristiano is doing after the match or if people on the stadium do it. Because when you watch on TV there are commentators, so I cannot really hear it. So it can be funny to know. I actually wrote "siuu" in the camera afterwards because when Jim on the court started talking about this, I was like, Well, okay, I'm going to write it then because everybody is doing it. So I guess that's the thing to do.

And, yeah, the only thing, between first and second serve, that's where, you know, it's tough. It's not good for the game I think to do it, because probably people don't know, but when you're getting ready for the second serve, well, it's a tough moment. I think, yeah, people should respect both players and just, you know, don't talk in these moments.

If not during the match, again, you know, it's not easy to be there when the whole stadium is against you, but probably if you look at, if I will look it on the TV, I'm probably not going to do it tonight but maybe after the tournament, I'm going to be, like, Wow, that's a great atmosphere for a tennis match.

Q. It was a high-profile match, a match of high standards and a very tough opponent. To get a match like that at this stage, how important is that for you to use that to go through the rest of the tournament?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think really important, because I can say it's definitely an unlucky draw, like a tough draw, because sometimes in slams when you're high seeds, you have some sensations first rounds, you can have a kind of draw where you can go and, I don't want to say pretty easy because every opponent is tough, but you can say, Okay, this opponent I know how to play, or, Him, maybe I know that physically I'm better than him.

Against Nick, it's a tough matchup. I know he can serve big, and, yeah, that's already really tough. I felt like I was returning really well today and yet to break him it was really tough.

But these kind of matches, you know, first, second, third round of a slam, it's like a big challenge where if you make it, you feel like, okay, if I can continue playing like this, I can go far. Of course it will depend on the other opponents. But, yeah, it's like a big challenge where you can fail it and, yeah, go home the next day. But I'm happy that I managed to make this challenge.

Q. Nick talked you up big time as the player to beat during his conference. What's your reaction to that? What's it like to have those expectations as sort of the acting No. 1 in the tournament?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It's nice to hear this, because Nick is I think a good guy outside the court. On the court he's an entertainer. It doesn't mean he's bad. But, yeah, it's a big show, so I tried really to stay focused on myself during the match. He was even saying, like, Good shot, Good serve. I was like, doesn't matter. I have to do the next one. I don't care about the last one.

He's somebody that can beat anybody, we know it. Like when we say "anybody," it means anybody, including Rafa, Roger, Novak, and any top-10 player, because he has a lot of motivation to do it. He wants to show this.

And to hear these words from him after the match where I think he played pretty well is just great, and it's kind of back to the question of Craig where, well, I'm happy to make this challenge, to pass this challenge, and happy to hear these words from the opponent I beat.

Q. That was the first time you'd beaten Kyrgios after losing the previous two. Do you compare yourself as a player now to, say, the player who played him in the Washington final of 2019? What parts do you think you have improved the most?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, definitely a lot more experience, a lot more bigger matches played. When I played him in Washington, I was still on the come-up, I think top 10 after Wimbledon, but still, I felt like I can go further and further. And actually then I made five more consecutive finals, winning two of them? Yeah, two of them. Which were Masters 1000, the final against Rafa.

All of this is experience, and that helped me tonight, you know, to just put one shot more, one returning more. Because I remember Washington, I think I almost didn't have chances on his serve. Today I had. I had games where I had Love-30, 15-30, and that puts pressure on your opponent. That's the biggest difference between me right now and me in Washington final.

Q. Especially with Djokovic off the tour for a bit now, we don't know when he will come back, how much is getting to the No. 1 ranking a motivation for you?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, you know, I think the higher you climb the rankings, the further you want to go. I have been No. 2 for quite a long time. I have been playing pretty well. Of course, yeah, I want to, you know, become No. 1, win 25 slams, or something like this.

But again, for me the most important is hard work on myself, trying to improve my game, to be a better player, so try to win every tournament I play. Like played ATP Cup, managed to come back from a tough loss, win three matches, were really close to making something big for Russia, but we didn't manage to do it.

Came here to Australian Open, prepared well. Want to win as many matches as possible. It's tough, Grand Slams are tough, there are going to be tough opponents. Sometimes you lose early, sometimes you lose late, sometimes you win it. I just want to, you know, try to, yeah, try to play really good. If I manage to do big results, I can become No. 1, especially of course with Novak losing his points here. I mean, we cannot not talk about this.

But that's life, you know. Sometimes somebody's injured, sometimes somebody lose. Well, he didn't manage to play here. That was a big story, but the result is this, and if I manage to become No. 1, even with these circumstances, I think I should still have some credits (smiling).

Q. When you think about what sets players apart specifically on hard court, what do you think it is about your game that's especially well-suited to the surface?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think it's my strokes and maybe my movement, but more my strokes that, you know, I like to make my ball go through the air. I don't know if I explain it right, because it's tough to explain.

And then to not -- that it doesn't lose speed after the bounce. Because I play quite far from baseline. Many guys who would try to play there, their ball will just lose speed at the end and then the guy would have an easy shot to play. Many guys don't do it just because it's no sense for them.

I try to develop my game, to improve my game, to see how I can make my opponent in trouble, no matter which surface. But, yeah, so far I have been better on hard courts, because I feel, yeah, when do I have to play on his forehand, when do I play on his backhand, when do I play short, when do I play deep.

And I have this, yeah, this extra feeling on hard courts which I sometimes did have even on clay courts and grass courts, but not like every match, and that's in Grand Slams you definitely need this for every match for two weeks.

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