Being back in New York, and returning to competitive tennis, has been hugely positive for Daniil Medvedev.
While the world has changed dramatically this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian has happy memories of reaching the 2019 US Open final and hopes to go deep once more.
“It’s really different… I am sure it would feel another way if there was not COVID-19 in the world,” said Medvedev, who will play Federico Delbonis in the US Open first round. “Still, it feels great to be back. Hopefully, I can have a good tournament. Playing on Ashe [stadium court] the first match [in the] night session, even if there are no fans, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, I can show some great tennis, maybe make some new memories for myself.”
Medvedev still thinks about his five-set loss to Rafael Nadal over four hours and 50 minutes, but appreciates it was a tremendous experience to contest his first Grand Slam final.
“Sometimes [I think about it] a little bit,” he said. “Of course, it was an amazing match. I mean, [it was] the only Grand Slam final I [have reached]. But, also, as a person, I always try to look at the present and the future, try to work to have the best future in the tennis world… Sometimes I do remember it. It was a great match, great fight, [a] great level. Against Rafa, he was on top of his form. I need to also remember this sometimes, just play the same tennis.”
This week, the World No. 5 lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open, the first tournament back after a five-month ATP Tour suspension. But Medvedev insists he is happy with his form coming into the hard-court Grand Slam championship.
“The three matches I played, I actually liked my level,” said Medvedev. “I think my physical shape had to be better. I’ve done some adjustments, as much as I could, in just a few days. I’m really trying hard to be ready for anything that US Open can [throw at] me. Hopefully, I can just show some great tennis. Like this, I will have my chances to go deep in the tournament. That’s, of course, my goal.
“I always take it match by match. Of course, in the back of my mind, any Slam I play, any tournament I play, I want to win it. I have not won any Slams yet. I just have one final. Of course, when I come into a Slam, my goal is to win seven matches. But I take it match by match.”