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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 26, 2020


Daniil Medvedev has never won a match before at Roland-Garros, but before you write him off as a clay-court dud, consider the fact that he played the final at Barcelona last year, and also knocked off Stefanos Tsitsipas and World No.1 Novak Djokovic on his way to the semifinals at Monte-Carlo.

Tennis Express

Add to that the fact that the conditions could be brutal at Roland-Garros this year, with cold conditions, rain and heavier balls, and you could have a winning recipe for the Russian.

“Maybe it can help me that it's a bit colder, so the balls don't fly as much, don't go as spinny,” Medvedev said on Friday in Paris. “So maybe I can play some flat tennis obviously in practices before the match. I think it can be an opportunity for me actually, an advantage. Of course, tough to say before you play your first match.”

Medvedev, who is ranked fifth in the world and seeded fourth at Roland-Garros, has faced a Frenchman in all three of his previous appearances in Paris, and dropped them all. He says he’s hungry just to get that first win out of the way.

“It would be definitely really exciting to get my first win here,” he said. “Well, it's something for sure I want to get.”

Medvedev says he has always felt at a disadvantage on clay against top players because of his style of play, and the fact that he hits a flat ball, which doesn’t tend to create as much trouble for opponents as it does on other surfaces.

“Talking about clay courts, I think I have improved in general as a player,” he said. “Actually I liked clay courts when I was younger. I think right now I just feel like against many, many players, many good players, I lose my level on clay courts. What I'm saying is that [against] many guys who have the natural spin, I have to change my game, adapt my game, which makes me more vulnerable.”

The 24-year-old Russian may not be primed for a deep run this year in Paris, but he’s in there with a fighting chance. For a lot of players, that’s a big part of the battle in a season that has been threatened, and continues to be endangered, by the coronavirus.

He’ll face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the first round.

“I was capable last year to show some really great results on clay,” He said. “Hopefully I can continue to raise my level regarding this match, then I think I can show some good results.”

 

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