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May 21, 2023

Daniil Medvedev

Roma, Italia

Press Conference


7-5, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Congrats, Daniil. Where does this win rank among your many successes?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: In a way number one just because it's the first one on clay and it's unbelievable. I would never thought I would be able to make this. Then have to be honest, Grand Slam is always bigger. Yeah, US Open is always number one there.

This one is special because I didn't think it was going to be able to happen, I'm going to be able to make it. I still kind of don't believe - not that I won it, but I played so well this week. I don't believe it.

The way I played, I'm really happy. Happy to have this trophy back home in some time, yeah (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think the way you played this week, it's more about mental adjustment or maybe technical? You find maybe more time to hit the ball because maybe you couldn't make it before. Here on clay you could do that.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It's true in theory. But first of all, I was not moving well enough, and my shots didn't have enough depth.

Again, it's not because I'm sponsored by Lacoste or Tecnifibre I'm going to say this. I think strings help me, the new strings I try this year, because they are just softer so the ball goes easier. Straightaway in Australia actually where I lost, with my coach we were like, Wow, I have the easy depth on the ball, which is amazing. In Australia, didn't work.

I was 100% doubting myself. Should I go back to the old ones, I was playing good with it? I said no, let's try more. Now it's unbelievable.

About the movement, it's either a practice or new shoes this year. Maybe I'm feeling better with them. As you say exactly, I managed to have time, I managed to move well and hit the deep ball. It sounds easy, but that's the toughest part in tennis. You want to play deep and you miss. That's what happened to me the previous years.

Here this week I managed to do everything in my mind. I managed to make it real. That's how I managed to win.

Q. Can we give you a new nickname: Clay-Vedev? You are the first Russian to win here. There was Sharapova, Safina, girls. Only Chesnokov was in the final but lost to Muster in 1999.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I didn't see it. I never walked in the tunnel to see every score. I see a lot of finals. I didn't know Chesnokov was there.

It's great because I think Kafelnikov was really strong on clay, if I remember right. I was too young to see him play. He won one year Roland Garros in singles and doubles. Probably he was good.

Yeah, it's a pleasure to be the first one from your country to manage to win this trophy. What a great feeling is going to be next year to go through the tunnel to warm up and see your picture, and also the picture on the center court.

Q. You are No. 2 now in the world, which means you're not going to play against who will be No. 1 before the eventual final, which is a good advantage.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Because Novak is there (smiling).

Q. Novak will be No. 3 or somewhere else. What do you think about that?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I'm trying to think. The solutions I had, if I would be No. 3, I would definitely play one of Alcaraz or Novak if I am in the semifinal. You definitely have one of them in your draw. I guess it's better to be No. 2 and get the chance. Carlos and I don't play for sure before the final, and Novak maybe 50% chance he's not in your draw. At the same time I haven't been further than quarters in Roland Garros.

Is always good to have a good draw, but it's better to just play good and try to win it because I will be honest, when I saw my draw here, I think I was in the car, was it in Madrid or already here in Rome, I was with my wife, maybe one other tennis player or a friend, and I was looking at my draw. I was like, Wow, that must be the toughest draw I have ever seen for me.

It was Emil Ruusuvuori first round, Zapata Miralles who plays well on clay next, Zverev, Hurkacz. It goes on and on. I managed to do it.

The draw is good, but it's always better just to play good yourself.

Q. You've spoken about the strings, the shoes, the technical adjustments. How big of a role did winning all these events in the first three months on hard courts play into the success now?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Tough to say. For sure every time you play a big final, it's an experience. It's an experience for the next one.

For example, both Miami and here, I felt like the start was so-so, then I managed to get into the match more and more and play better and better.

When I played my first one, it was against Rafa, I got destroyed. I started bad, as I kind of started these matches, then I was only playing worse and worse. The next one I managed to win against Goffin. It was a tight match from both of us. We knew it's going to be first one for us.

With experience, yeah, managed to do better in this moment, so maybe that helped. But then in general terms, after Miami, I was feeling confident, good.

When I came to practice on clay first few days, I was hating my life. I was coming back home. I was in a bad mood. I was like, I don't want to do this again. I don't want to go through this again.

So, yeah, I don't know if it was exactly the case or not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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