“Little Bit Easier”: Daniil Medvedev States Rafael Nadal’s Retirement Might Change His Heart for Clay Court

Published 05/05/2021, 11:05 PM EDT
Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Rafael Nadal of Spain stand together before their Men’s Singles final match on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 08, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Russian World No.3 Daniil Medvedev took a sigh of relief after registering his first clay-court win in 739 days. But the victory wasn’t enough to change his dislike for playing on clay. However, he joked in the post-match press conference that it could probably change after Rafael Nadal retires.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his round of 32 match against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The 25-year-old complained about the surface throughout his opening match against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Recovering from a set down, Medvedev managed to take a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win to the next round.

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Daniil Medvedev says Rafael Nadal’s retirement will make playing on clay easier

Daniil Medvedev has just begun his clay-court campaign at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. He missed out on playing at the Monte-Carlo Masters event after testing COVID-19 positive.

While the Russian does not particularly look forward to playing the clay season, he undoubtedly wanted to improve his results. Since he finally won a match, one of the press members asked whether he now enjoys clay surface more and more.

In response, the Australian Open 2021 finalist expressed that even winning the biggest clay tournament might not change his heart. But he implied that Rafael Nadal’s retirement would make the situation better.

“No. I probably will say it even if I win Roland Garros, one moment, probably when Rafa retires. It will be just a little bit easier,” Medvedev said.

Furthermore, the Russian clarified that his views do not uphold anything against clay courts. He explained that he only prefers hard and grass courts more.

“I will still like other surfaces more, but it’s only my opinion, so I don’t pretend to have a truthful opinion,” Daniil concluded. On the contrary, the Russian signed ‘Love Clay’ after his second-round victory.

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Medvedev’s road to Mutua Madrid Open 2021 final

Medvedev will face Chilean professional Christian Garin in the next round. He has previously won once against Garin but on a hard court at the 2019 Canadian Masters.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during his round of 32 match against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina REUTERS/Sergio Perez

If the Russian stays in the tournament, he will most likely meet Italian Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinal. Seemingly, it would be a real test of Medvedev on the Spanish soil.

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Following that, he would clash with the Monte-Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas as per the seeding. If all goes well, Medvedev will take on the ultimate challenge, playing against Rafael Nadal in the final.

However, to make it all happen, Daniil has to let his socks get dirtier and find his hard-court confidence. How far do you think the Russian will go in the Madrid Open?

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Purav Joshi

806 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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