“He is Very Intelligent”: Andy Murray Picks Daniil Medvedev’s Biggest Strength on the Court

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November 23, 2020 5:31 pm

Daniil Medvedev won the biggest title of his career as he defeated Dominic Thiem in the finals of the Nitto ATP Finals 2020. He became only the second Russian to win the tour finals. Three-time Grand Slam champ Andy Murray revealed a few peculiar details of the Russian’s game.

Daniil Medvedev lifts the trophy as he celebrates winning the final match against Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Toby Melville

While speaking to Gael Monfils, Murray talked about the tactical battle Medvedev engages in on the court. Andy called Daniil an intelligent and smart player and said, “Like I said his game doesn’t always look the prettiest but yeah he is a very, very smart player. It’s tough to pick one thing, but if you had to, I would say it is intelligence on the court. It is his biggest strength.”

Medvedev has an unorthodox playing style. His racquet head movement is different, and he almost hits the ball flat. But his intelligence on the court is his biggest strength according to Murray, and that forms a deadly combination with his strong shots. Murray added, “The serve is obviously is very good, the backhand, the forehand are very solid. But I think he is very intelligent on the court.”

Daniil Medvedev in action during his final match against Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Toby Melvill

The small tactical battle Daniil Medvedev played against Rafael Nadal

Murray noticed the few adjustments Medvedev made during his semifinal clash against Rafa Nadal. Making note of these minute details, Murray revealed the changes in Medvedev’s approach to Rafa’s first serve throughout the match and said:

“My opinion, I think tactically, he is fantastic. I think he is a very, very smart player… The adjustment he made against Rafa in the first set, he was returning from six meters behind the baseline and then in the second set he completely changed that and he was returning like between two to three meters and then in the third set, he moved that even closer.”

Daniil Medvedev was close to bowing out of the ATP Finals as Nadal was serving for the match in the semifinal match. But then he got a love-break, and from then on he looked like a completely different player. The semifinal clash against Nadal probably gave him the extra confidence to beat Thiem.

Daniil Medvedev reacts during his group stage match against Alexander Zverev. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Medvedev turned around a lackluster 2020 season. Till November, he had not reached a single final. But now he finds himself on a 10-match winning streak. He won his 3rd Masters title in Paris a few weeks back and then came the ATP Finals triumph.

Read More: Unorthodox but Effective: The Mystery Behind Daniil Medvedev’s Style of Play

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