Daniil Medvedev is the No. 5 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and he has won seven ATP Tour titles, lifting each of those trophies since the beginning of 2018.
ATPTour.com looks at five things you should know about the 24-year-old.
1) 2019 Was The Best Season Of His Career
Daniil Medvedev won the first three ATP Tour titles of his career in 2018. But the Russian didn’t slow his momentum, ascending into the Top 10 and the Top 5 in 2019.
Medvedev became the fifth active player — joining Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray — to reach six consecutive tour-level finals, achieving the feat at Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, the US Open, St. Petersburg and Shanghai. The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor reached more finals last season, with nine, than anyone on the ATP Tour.
Before 2019, Medvedev was only 8-14 at ATP Masters 1000 events. But he reached his first final at that level in Montreal and won his first two Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai. Medvedev used those efforts to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time, just two years on from finishing year-end World No. 65 in 2018.
2) Medvedev’s Switch: Fewer Croissants, More Porridge
Medvedev never shied away from admitting that before his rise, he did not do everything as professionally as possible. He competed hard and did his work on the practice court, but his diet and recovery routines were not as sharp as he knew they could be.
Sweets and even croissants were not off limits. If a long match went late, he would skip the ice bath.
“I thought it was going to be the best rest, to just lay on the bed and watch some TV. And in fact, it’s not,” Medvedev said.
But Medvedev slowly began trading some of those croissants for porridge, and giving everything he had in all facets of his career. That paid dividends.
3) He Has A Golden Rule
Medvedev remembers the coach he had from ages six to 10, who taught him to, “fight like crazy”.
“Her Golden Rule was, ‘The one who wins the match is the one who made more balls over the net’, which is easy to understand,” Medvedev said last year.
The 6’6” Russian moves well for his size, and he precisely manouevres his flat groundstrokes seemingly anywhere on the court he desires while making few errors, frustrating opponents.
4) Medvedev Speaks Fluent French, Resides In Monte-Carlo
Medvedev moved to Cannes, France as a teen, looking for high-quality coaching and facilities. He chose Cannes, since his sister lived there. Gilles Cervara, the Coach Of The Year in the 2019 ATP Awards, was not his full-time coach at first, but he accompanied Medvedev to Marseille in 2015 and a handful of events the following year, becoming the Russian’s permanent coach in late 2017.
It’s normal to hear the duo conversing in French. Medvedev, who also speaks Russian and English, now resides in nearby Monte-Carlo.
5) He Loves Video Games, But Doesn’t Bring Them To Tournaments
Medvedev has long enjoyed video games, and he enjoys thinking back to the times he has beaten his coach, Cervara, at them.
“It was in Basel, they had PlayStations there. I’m quite good in FIFA, so when you have a different level in the game, it’s not funny,” Medvedev recalled in Cincinnati last year. “NHL we never played in our life. So we started playing. I beat him silly because I’m good at games. And then he was practising all the week, and after I lost to Roger, [I was] 2-0 down [against my coach], and I won in overtime.”
As much as Medvedev has fun playing video games, he doesn’t let them take away from his focus on court.
“I love video games, and I basically don’t take them to the tournaments because I know otherwise I wouldn’t be having all these results, because I go crazy and I play too much,” Medvedev said. “But when I’m at home, don’t take my PlayStation. It’s not going to end well.”