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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday May 9, 2024

When Daniil Medvedev pulled up lame and had to pull out of his quarterfinal with Jiri Lehecka at Madrid last week, due to what appeared to be a groin injury, it looked as if the Russian might be unable to defend his title in Rome this week.

Tennis Express

Not the case, Medvedev told reporters on Thursday in Rome. After three days of rest the World No.4 says he is good to go.

“I'm feeling good now,” Medvedev said. “I had a minor injury, I would say.”

Medvedev, who will face either Borna Coric or Jack Draper in the second round at Rome, says he took three days to recover in Madrid and hit at full speed today in the Italian capital. “Today I hit full. I have an extra day tomorrow, so ready to play [on Saturday],” he said, adding that he doesn’t feel there is any additional injury risk to playing.

Medvedev went on to tell reporters that he feels he is always at risk of injury on the clay because he is not truly comfortable on the surface.

“For my body, clay is worse,” he said. “It's always been the case. Many, many times I get injured in Madrid before Rome. I know that on clay I have more chances of not even getting injured but I would say getting tired. When you get tired, you get more injured.”

Medvedev may enter the draw as a defending champion, but he said he doesn’t feel like the favorite. Look to the top of the rankings if you want to know who the favorite is, says the 28-year-old.

“I think Novak definitely [is the favorite],” he said. “He's No. 1 seed.”

That said, Medvedev says don’t count him out. He owns 20 ATP titles, but has never won the same title twice. How does he feel about his chances of a career breakthrough in Rome?

“I think I'm there. Again, in Monte-Carlo I just had two matches. In Madrid, I managed to go to the quarters, was feeling good.

“It's never easy after injury to get back straightaway to the good level. First match is going to be very important to see where I am. I think if I play a good first match, then I can be in the favorites.”