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May 20, 2022

Daniil Medvedev

Paris, France

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: You came back last week in Geneva after your surgery. It didn't go as well as you would have hoped. How is the preparation going for Roland Garros and the clay?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: To be honest, not so bad. Geneva was not perfect. But, yeah, for me, even on hard courts, it's true, but especially on clay I need everything to fall down great. And in Geneva I was not feeling my best tennis yet. But finally, Richard is in the semis, I don't know how he's doing, he has a match right now, maybe he's going to be in the finals. He's a great player. Second set could have won, had my chances. Yeah, that's tennis.

I had two days of practice here, feeling great, you know, kind of like last year where I managed to find my rhythm. Hopefully can do the same this year.

So, yeah, just prepare and looking forward for my match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Last time we saw you at a Grand Slam in a press conference was obviously after the Australian Open final defeat and you gave a powerful speech about your disillusionment with the sport in some ways. Just wondering if you feel the same way now as you did then. What's the evolution of your feelings been?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think I want to be a little bit talking about this and that, that everybody can have their tough moments either during one tournament or their whole tennis career. For sure I had some tough ones, which Australian Open in general and especially the final was one of them.

I remember one point actually when I won the second set it was crazy point. I never saw it again on the TV, but from what I remember, it was a huge point on 6-5 for me on the tiebreak and I won it. I was just happy trying in a way to pump up myself and the crowd and a lot of people started, they saw I'm doing this against him and started to booing, and I was, like, Well, okay (smiling).

But a lot of time has passed, and I'm happy to play tennis. Sometimes clay can be tough, but I'm happy to be back on tour, healthy, feeling great physically, and that's the most important. I want to play, I want to show some good tennis, try to win some matches. Yeah, and I want to dream again and I'm dreaming again (smiling).

Q. What action do you think the ATP should take in response to Wimbledon's decision to ban you and other Russians and Belarusians from the Championships?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Honestly, I don't have an answer to this question, because I think that from what I heard the decision is going to be made soon, but I'm not on the council and not in any, how to say, governing body from tennis. I don't know what it's going to be. Everybody has a little bit rumors, this, that, maybe take away the points, maybe not. I don't know what it's going to be so I can comment more on when the decision is out.

But same even when it's out I'm not controlling this decision. It's a council with players inside and like tournament members and stuff.

So they're gonna decide, I want to say, better than I do. So I'm going to be waiting for this and looking forward, yeah, to know what it's going to be.

Q. I was curious to see after you played Gasquet that you have a pretty relatively, compared to the rest of your career, a pretty rough record against French guys and especially on clay, I think you're like 0 and 7 or 0 and 8 against French guys. You live here, you speak French. Why is it so difficult to beat the French?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, I think, I want to think there is no pattern because, well, it's going to be better for my career even in the future if there is no pattern because, yeah, as you say, on clay, let's be honest, I can lose against anybody. I can play good and win some also matches, first time I beat Novak was on clay.

So if we take clay, it's normal that I can lose against anybody, French players included. Usually I think they are quite good on clay. Talking about Richard, you know, last two matches I managed to beat him on hard courts. US Open was pretty strong one. On clay he's a great player. So he beat me, and nothing to say. I could have played better. But, yeah, he was the better player this day.

I think on hard courts, especially the tournaments that I won where I played good, I managed to beat some French guys which, yeah, I'm never scared to play anybody. I feel good playing in France. Playing against a French guy in France is not easy. They support them well. Again, talking about Bercy, played Hugo Gaston, who was on fire, beat famous Alcaraz there. I managed to beat him because I was feeling great and managed to play some good tennis.

So I hope there is no pattern. But, yeah, hopefully I answered your question.

Q. Can you talk to me a little bit about your injury? It was basically right after Miami. I was wondering, were you playing with a hernia for a while? When did you realize you had it? What was the recovery like? Are you surprised you're back to such good shape so quickly?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I was playing with it for a while. It's tough to know if it bothered me or not because it was never painful. Because if hernia is painful you have to cut it straightaway. So I knew it.

I was playing with it for a while. I wanted to find the best moment to do it. And when I say "the best moment," also in terms of where you don't go too far playing with an injury, because that's when the recovery can go longer, and the consequences can be harsher.

So I'm happy I'm back, because I heard it can take on average six weeks to come back to play in tennis, but maybe more. For me, it was four weeks where I took the racquet and started playing tennis. Never really felt pain.

I was for sure, yeah, for muscles it's tough because for two, three weeks I was really doing nothing and I had to do nothing. First week was not easy. Then, yeah, I was coming back step by step. Geneva actually was the six weeks where I should have just taken the racquet but I was already playing a match. Physically, I'm feeling good, ready to play five sets.

But let's see what happens first round. Yeah, happy to be back.

Q. Just about the Wimbledon again, what's your overriding emotion not being allowed to play that tournament? How do you feel coming in here potentially this being the last Grand Slam you could be allowed to play this year?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, no, the answer is a little bit in your question. Right now I'm focused on Roland Garros. I'm here. It's a tournament where I had some tough moments, and then really great one last year. Even if I didn't manage to win, go to finals or win it. So I want to reproduce what I did last year and just, you know, feel the joy to play on clay of Roland Garros again, especially with the crowd that hopefully gonna be packed.

In general, you know, about Wimbledon, I said it in Geneva that, and same here, I'm not in ATP taking the decisions, I'm not in Wimbledon take the decisions. Maybe it's government pushing them, maybe it's their decision. There a lot of mistakes behind this.

So if I can play I'm going to be happy to play. I love Wimbledon as a tournament. I honestly tend to think I like playing on grass, though I didn't have amazing results so far, but I managed to win one tournament.

But if I cannot play, I'm gonna try to play next year's and try to play good there.

Q. How did your expectations change after the draw when you saw that Djokovic, Nadal, Zverev, and Alcaraz were in the upper half?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I think it's both feelings that of course when you play a Grand Slam, it's always good to not have these biggest names. And when I say "biggest names," of course we know Novak, Rafa, Roland Garros, it's crazy how they play here. Carlos has been playing amazing lately. Miami, Rome, Barcelona. Let's see how he copes up with the pressure. If he manages to reproduce the same tennis, he's going to be one of the favorites for sure.

It's good from one side to have them on the other side of the draw. At the same time, me, even more than other tournaments, I have to focus on myself. A lot of clay court, good clay court players. I'm playing one of them first round, lefty, likes to spin the ball. Need to prepare this one and I'm going to take every match by match. If I manage to meet one of them in the draw means I made a good tournament. So hopefully I can see one of them in the second week.

Q. Just talking about your injury, I think it's the first time maybe for a while that you have been on the sidelines while the tour has been carrying on. Wondering what that was like, whether actually there was something positive about having a break when normally it's so kind of relentless.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, it's true that I don't remember much when I was sidelined by an injury. Last I remember I think was maybe four, five years ago I had pulled out of Marseilles tournament, and had to not play tennis for like two weeks.

At one point it's a little bit disappointing, because, you know, even if, again, I'm not going to lie, I don't really like clay, but I still always like to play and try to win some matches, try to make good results. Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid, and I like these tournaments, like to be there. Was disappointed not to be able to play there this year.

At the same time, I took this time to really refresh the batteries, because I needed this. I especially felt it coming back right now, even not talking about results but coming back to practice, I felt that last year, including Davis Cup and straightaway going to Australia, which is always a tough travel and tough tournament in terms of clock difference, being away from home and everything. I felt that I needed this break maybe for my body and for my head.

Yeah, right now I'm more happy to be on the practice courts, I want to say more professional, small details, and hopefully this can result in some good tournaments either here or maybe next ones.

Q. One thing we haven't seen from the Russian players is no one has taken any legal action, has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Is that something you have considered or something you might consider down the road? Some experts in this seem to think you all would have a pretty strong case in terms of discrimination.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Personally, I didn't think about this, so yeah, that's the answer. I'm not a lawyer, but I think, yeah, as you say, I guess if you ask a lawyer, probably would have there is some room to make in this. But yeah, personally I think, as I said, you know, not me taking these decisions, if I can't play I'm -- yeah, I'm not going to go to court for this one. And I don't know what ATP is going to do, because, yeah, it's I'm waiting for their decision.

It's interesting to see, because a lot of rumors going on. If they are going to make a statement, not make a statement. I'm waiting for this, and I think it's going to be made soon.

But yeah, me personally, I won't go to court.

Q. I was interested to see the Halle entry list come out the other day, and you and most of the other top Russian guys are all on it despite potentially not being able to play at Wimbledon. What would it be like to switch services just to play this one 500 level event? If you don't play this next Grand Slam, would you add more tournaments after it to make up, maybe play Washington or whatever, earlier hard court tournaments are to get more matches in?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, it's always a matter of calendar. As I say, I like grass, and I want to continue improving. In tennis if you don't go to South America, you have hard courts for most of the time, and clay court, grass court, hard court. I like to switch surfaces.

Again, first days on clay are always tough for me, but the same time I want to try to play good there. Same about grass. You know, usually I like playing grass. I want to make some good results. Halle is really strong tournament and if you manage to win it, it's great result and gives you a lot of confidence no matter for next tournaments if it's Grand Slams or not or if it's Masters 1000.

So I'm planning to play three grass court events, which is 's-Hertogenbosch, Halle, and thinking to go to Mallorca. And then I'm signed in Los Cabos, and I'm going to see if -- yeah, if I don't play Wimbledon, basically there is five or six weeks between last tournament on grass and Los Cabos. I'm going to see if I have something there or if I'm just going to train well and prepare for hard court swing which I love in U.S.

It also kind of depends on how many points I'm going to make here and grass court tournaments.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. The Parisian public loves you. You have won Bercy. You speak French. You live in France, more or less. Do you like French clay more this year? You're No. 2 this year, but what do you think, what is your feeling ahead of this tournament? The French public loves you actually here.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I love the French Open. I have had some tough moments in terms of results. Last year, even though we didn't have much of a crowd we had some atmosphere and I loved it. I enjoyed it very much. I played well. It was a pleasure being here this year, and we might have a full crowd. I'm really happy to be here. I love playing in France.

I was asked about my lack of achievements in France, but I changed because I managed to win in Bercy and elsewhere, so I have some expectations for this tournament.

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