‘He’s cheating on you’ – ‘chess player’ Medvedev keeps opponents in check, Sports News

Confidence is king and Daniil Medvedev has plenty of it, with the affable Russian turning into not only one of the best tennis players and athletes, but also one of the smartest.

Standing at 6ft 6in and pencil thin, he emerged at the forefront of the next wave looking to break the ‘Big Three’ monopoly of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

After reaching the final of the US Open 2019, where he lost to Nadal, he worked hard on his game and fitness to climb the rankings and qualify for the Australian Open final on Sunday against Djokovic on a 20-game winning streak, showing his mental and physical strength. endurance.

Boasting a career ranking of four, he embraced his immense potential.

Prior to his rise in 2019, he could let his emotions get in the way and was never shy about admitting that he didn’t do everything as professionally as possible.

He competed hard and did his job on the training ground, but his diet and recovery routines weren’t what they should be, with the 25-year-old enjoying sweets and croissants.

And if a long game got delayed, he often skipped the ice bath.

“I thought it was going to be the best rest, just laying on the bed and watching TV. And in fact, it’s not,” he said last year.

But Medvedev, nicknamed Bear, changed and it paid off.

During his 20-game streak, he beat every top-10 player except Federer, who was injured.

Informed of this, he replied: “It’s great to know that. It’s a shame that Roger doesn’t play”, suggesting that he was also confident to take his scalp.

– All unlocked –

Medvedev is a smart man. He excelled in physics and mathematics at school, graduating early and enrolling in a university in his native Moscow to study applied economics and business.

He chose to play tennis full time instead, moving to the south of France, where his sister lived, to benefit from her high quality coaching and facilities.

Fluent in Russian and English, he can also often be heard conversing in French with his trainer, Gilles Cervara, who helped him get to where he is today.

Although he left college early, Medvedev remains a tactical thinker, or as commentator Jim Courier put it this week: “He’s a master chess player on the court.”

Medvedev keeps opponents guessing with his flat, low groundstrokes, while changing pace and angles, mixing impenetrable defense with opportunistic attack.

His semi-final opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas once called Medvedev’s style of play “boring”, but even the Greek star was won over.

“Let me tell you, he’s a player who unlocked just about everything in the game,” he said after crashing into him in straight sets.

“He cheats on you. You know, he plays the game very smartly. It’s really interesting to see that.”

While the Russian has honed his game, one key rule still applies and that is to ‘fight like crazy’, a trait taught to him by one of his early tennis coaches while he was still a little boy.

“His rule of thumb was, ‘Whoever wins the game is the one who got the most balls over the net,’ which is easy to understand,” he said.

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