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Medvedev: Haters Keep Me Sane

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, March 16, 2023

Daniil Medvedev loves his job—and appreciates his haters.

Continuing his quest for a fourth consecutive championship, Medvedev overcame a gimpy right ankle and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5 to reach his first Indian Wells semifinal.

More: Rune Calls Out Wawrinka

A red-hot Medvedev rides an 18-match winning streak into his BNP Paribas Open semifinal showdown vs. Frances Tiafoe.

Asked about the added pressure he felt when he was world No. 1, Medvedev said any top-ranked player—even the Big 3—can be the target of vitriol online. His time at the top taught Medvedev the higher you go, the more haters hammer away at your game.

"And this pressure of being No. 1, for sure a lot of haters," Medvedev told the media in Indian Wells. "And that's normal. Novak has a lot of haters. Even Rafa and Roger somehow have them. You're, like, how is this possible? They shouldn't have."

Still, Medvedev turns defensive positions into offensive opportunities.

The man Hall of Famer John McEnroe calls "a chess master" for his clever point construction, credits critics for helping him stay sane.


Because, Medvedev says, he learned if you listen to the loathing skeptics spew it can make you crazy. Instead, Medvedev, who travels with a tight and trusted team that includes his wife, Daria, and coach, Gilles Cervara, said criticism has reinforced his belief you must stay true to yourself to succeed.

"And that taught me to even less care about this and focus more on myself, on my close people around me, because that's only way you can stay sane and true to you, to kind of, as I said, to have no regrets," Medvedev said. "Just because someone said you should have put this backhand in the court, no, you know you did your best and maybe your coach is going to tell you if you should have done something better, and he's the only person who can kind of tell you this."

Tennis Express

Regrets are like forehands: everybody has them. The 2021 US Open champion said he's driven by a simple goal: Give it all every match so he can look back on his career without any regrets.

"I set my most important goal is to have no regrets when I finish my career. Meaning the match with Rafa, for sure I regret that I couldn't win it and didn't have my second slam," Medvedev said of his Australian Open final loss to Rafael Nadal. "I was close, but I fighted. I fighted till the end. Maybe I missed some shots, but that's sport.

"And I don't want to be, yeah, when I'm 35 or whatever and I retire, I don't want to say, like I heard some other tennis players do, if I would have done this different in my career, maybe my career would be better or I regret doing this.

"I want to, when I finish my career, no matter how many slams, tournaments won, or whatever, just to know that I have done my best. So far I feel like I'm achieving my goal, even last year not the best year, but I was trying. I was trying hard, and I was doing my best, and has been working this year.

"So that's my biggest goal."

Photo credit: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships