From August 28 to September 10, the US Open will be held in New York. One of the tournament favorites is Daniil Medvedev, who already took the title here in 2021. Most pundits, however, favor reigning US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz and 23-time TBS winner Novak Djokovic. Before the tournament, Medvedev gave a big press conference, where he answered various questions. In particular, Daniil hinted that he was not afraid of the prospect of facing Alcaraz in the semifinals.
“I love the US Open. I hope to play next week. I want to go out on the pitch and see what the crowd will be like this year. There is not much more to add. Physically and mentally I feel good. I want to play better than in the last weeks. Let’s see what happens ”, began the press conference.
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What do you enjoy the most outside of tennis? And what do you think of the transfer of Harry Kane to Bayern, your favorite club? – I’ll start with Bayern. Harry Kane is a great player. There are people like that in tennis and soccer. I only know about football what I read in the press. Based on this, he is a strong leader, a great guy. He is already fully integrated into the team. Let’s see what will happen on the field. I hope he scores many goals.
When the time comes in New York, I always enjoy it. Cool, “electric” city. I don’t know how to live here, because it seems that this city will deprive you of energy if you stay here too long. But three weeks or a month here is great. What do you like more? Yes, there is a restaurant – advertising free – Mari Vanna. He’s fine. There I celebrated the title two years ago. It’s always nice to be back there.
Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
What was it like to defend the title in 2022? I don’t remember what happened a year ago. Actually, I don’t think there is too much pressure. I just wanted to do it right. It was a tough match with Nick. [Кирьосом в 1/8 финала]. In general, last year I did not play so bad. i have been in turin [на Итоговом]. The Australian Open final… yes, it was at the beginning of the year, but it was also last season. Although that season was one of the worst for me in the last 4-5 years. I don’t think the need to defend the title had any influence. But yes, I hope I can defend one of the titles. I have never had two at the same time. Here I have an opportunity. I’m sure Carlos [Алькарас, действующий чемпион US Open] so strong that he really doesn’t mind having to defend the title.
What do you think of the confrontation between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic? — I usually say that I don’t watch games when I lose a tournament. I didn’t watch the tournament during Wimbledon, but I did follow the results. It’s easy over the phone. Then I realized that they had been playing a game for 30 minutes. And I say, well, let’s see. I turned on the television. Seeing it was amazing. Sometimes you have to do something, so I don’t stick with the TV, but I did see most of the ending. It was very interesting when Novak found himself behind at the start of the fourth set. He surprised me that he won that game considering how the match played out. At the same time, I was surprised at how Carlos managed to turn the situation around. That is why they are now the first two numbers in the world. You can’t argue with that. Even when they play each other, they can turn the game around more than once.
The same is true in Cincinnati. I was there and saw not only his match. But also his party, yes. Incredible level. Playing in Cincinnati is not easy. The balls are difficult to control. But that didn’t bother them. Still they gave the highest level of play. All those match points, the tie-break… It’s amazing to watch. Great confrontation. But in each tournament, everyone else’s goal is to prevent them from meeting again.
What do you think of Djokovic’s return to the United States? – This is great. I always said: I want him to play in all the tournaments, especially now that it seems that he is still very young. But the time will come, I don’t know when he will be 40, 45 years old. Then he will finish. This is reality (smiles). I don’t think he will act after 45 years. Before he’s done, it’s great to see him at every tournament. Of all my games with the Big 3… I played with Roger [Федерером]but then it was not the same as now. So my games with Novak were the best. He is probably the best player in history. And it’s great to have been able to make things difficult for him. Two years ago I played one of the best matches of my life, if not the best (in the final of the US Open – 2021, Medvedev defeated Djokovic in three sets. – Approx. “Championship”). I want to try to do it again. He’s in the other half of the grid, so we’ll see.
– Doesn’t it bother you that many predict the Alcaraz-Djokovic final in advance? “Frankly, it’s great. It’s great for tennis that these guys are playing each other now. It’s a great story. But when the tournament starts, we (I mean ourselves or someone else) will try to defeat them and prevent them from meeting. But it doesn’t bother me. I have always said that sometimes this happens: that one is underestimated, another is overestimated, they usually write this on social networks. You go to social networks and everything after each game: that one is underestimated, that one is overestimated. This is what they like to talk about the most.
For me, tennis is one of those sports where you can almost say those things. Soccer is played 11 against 11. Even if the team wins, you can always say something about the players. And in tennis, one on one. There’s a 52-week rating, well, unless someone gets hurt. And now they are by far the first and second in the world. In my opinion, they have 1500 points more than me (in fact, more than 3500. – Approx. “Championship”). I’m number three by margin. At least there is no one in the immediate vicinity, if I remember correctly.
– Do you like to play such a role, the role of a player who can “ruin the party”? – Don’t know. Consciously, I don’t think about it. I’m just trying to win. It’s the most important thing. But it seems to me that I have performed well in a similar role more than once. I hope this helps me in the next two weeks.
— What has gone wrong with your game in recent weeks? – Definitely a pitch. We are working on this right now. This is a difficult shot, because sometimes a small difference decides everything. This is the most important shot in tennis. Submitting more than once can save you. You may not play the best game, but the serve will save you. You go to a tie-break and start to play better… This has happened to me more than once. Everyone goes through this. Sometimes it only lasts a week and other times a month, when suddenly it serves you a little worse.
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In general, I know that I can serve well. For some reason, at the US Open I serve even better than usual. I hope this helps me. If not, those two games that I lost [в Торонто и в Цинциннати]I didn’t play that bad. Against Zverev I played, let’s say, almost a good game. In general I played well against De Minor, but there were moments when my level of play dropped too much. But this is also an experience. I will try to gain confidence here, pick up the rhythm and play better and better.
– How is your energy, are you tired? – I feel great. Are you tired? Do not think. I feel good. In Toronto and Cincinnati I had a lot of time to practice and prepare, simply because after losses there is time for this. Everything will depend on how you feel during the tournament. Everything could be different. And you can come to the tournament and feel terrible, and then add it all up and add up. Or vice versa.
I feel fine now. I hope it will be the same during the tournament. What is needed for this? You try to build an optimal schedule with the team, taking into account the weekend, training, what to do on the day off. I think I have a lot of experience with this. I hope to be one hundred percent ready for the first game.
— What do you order at Mari Vanna? – The cheesecakes are very good. I don’t know how it is in English. So I would say the cheesecakes are very good.
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– Do you analyze your previous matches with Alcaraz, do you study his game? I usually try not to think about it too much. This way you can get to the point where some tennis players probably have been. We are all different. I’m sure a lot of people study Novak’s game under a microscope, playing his games, trying to see something. And then they play with him, but it’s not that easy. Same with Carlos. I could watch all of his games, try to see what to do. But not. Sometimes I watch him play and Novak, Yannick Sinner or Tommy Paul are usually able to make things difficult for him. You can see something and think: oh, he has problems with this and that. But in a face-to-face match everything is different.
We have played twice this season. So it didn’t work for me. For him, those were simple matches. And for me, it’s motivation. Next time we fight, I’ll try to do better. I don’t want to be easily defeated. That’s not why I play tennis. I am not so. Every time we play against him, at least it’s a semi-final. This could also be the case here. I’m going to do my best to play better.
Have you learned from those defeats? – Hope. I hope to always be learning, although you never know for sure. Of course, you learn something in terms of tactics. But he is very strong, especially considering his age. That’s what Novak says. Carlos tries to do something even during the game. He sees very quickly that you are doing something that is breaking his game and tries to rectify the situation. This happens right during the match. Basically, I hope that when he loses, he learns. Otherwise, it is even more difficult to lose. It turns out that he lost in vain. I hope to learn from this. Whenever I go to a tournament I hope I can do better.