Daniil Medvedev has questioned how tennis fans could 'hate' Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal after he addressed the pressure and criticism received for being a top tennis player. Medvedev is one of the most in-form players on the ATP Tour having won a remarkable 18 matches in a row.
The former World No.1 is set to move to World No.5 after Indian Wells, which will do him favours for the build-up to Roland Garros. Medvedev previously spent three weeks as World No.1 back in February 2022, before Carlos Alcaraz regained the title.
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He had a short stint again at the top of the men's game, before Alcaraz once again reclaimed the mantle after the US Open. And ahead of the semi-final clash at Indian Wells, Medvedev addressed the pressure top players on the tour face in today's game.
Medvedev is one of the more enigmatic characters in tennis today. The Russian wears his heart on his sleeve and is often in a running battle with the chair umpire or himself, which is entertaining drama for tennis fans.
However, this brings with it critics that often think it has no place in the game. This was seen when Medvedev has clashed with the Australian Open crowd and US Open fans in the past. And Medvedev said his time at World No.1 was tricky, but was a good learning experience for the future.
“I was really happy I managed to take this spot and hold it for that long. I was not happy with the level of my tennis and with the matches I lost, but this had nothing to do with the No.1. It was just losing other tennis matches to other players," Medvedev said when reflecting on his time at the top of the rankings.
“Are the tennis players trying to beat you more when you’re No.1? I don’t know. I hope not because it would be better for them if they try to do it every match, no matter which number you are at the ranking.
“For sure, the pressure is not easy because you know that everyone expects a lot from you. I think that taught me even more because for sure, when I was 20 and just coming up, you love social media, you love reading all the comments about yourself, how people [say] ‘okay, he’s going to do good’, or even ‘he’s a bad player’, and when you’re young you sometimes answer to them ‘no, I’m going to do good’."
And the Russian admitted that he learned from players such as Novak Djokovic, Nadal or Federer that you aren't always going to please the public. And he admitted that there will always be 'haters' when you reach the pinnacle of the sport.
“This pressure of being No.1, for sure a lot of haters, and that’s normal. Novak [Djokovic] has a lot of haters. Even Rafa and Roger somehow have them. You’re like, how is this possible? They shouldn’t have.
“That taught me to even less care about this and focus more on myself, on my close people around me because that’s the only way you can stay sane and true to you, to kind of, to have no regrets."
Social media has certainly exacerbated the hate and vitriol players receive on Tour with Federer, Djokovic and Nadal fans often clashing. Only recently, The Tennis Podcast tweeted about the hate young sensation Emma Raducanu has copped on social media.
Italian player Lorenzo Musetti also took to social media at Indian Wells to slam the insults he had received after his loss.
It was pointed out to us by a listener on our live show today - the nastiness directed at Emma Raducanu on here if you tweet something positive about her yourself. It’s true.
Disgusting and depressing.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) March 15, 2023
Daniil Medvedev slams Indian Wells court
Medvedev has extended his steak to 18 wins at Indian Wells and has set-up a semi-final showdown with Frances Tiafoe. However, the Russian has continually complained about the court at this year's tournament.
Medvedev entered an extraordinary rant in which he complained about how slow the court was and described it as a 'disgrace' during his win over Alexander Zverev. During a change of ends in the first set, Medvedev said: "It is a freaking disgrace to consider this awful court a hard court.
"It's a disgrace to the sport, this court. Should be banned from playing here. A freaking disgrace to the sport, this freaking court. And they call it a hard court. What a shame to call this awful court a hard court. I'll go to the toilet but I don't care if you give me a time violation.
"I'm going to be as slow as this court again. I don't care. Give me five time violations. If they allow us to play on such a court I can allow myself to do whatever I want."
Taylor Fritz will take on Jannik Sinner on Friday, while Carlos Alcaraz will play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other quarter-final.
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