Daniil Medvedev managed to battle past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Madrid – as well as his own personal demons about clay.
Medvedev has never made a secret of his distaste for clay court tennis, and he has never even won a single match at Roland Garros during his career.
It looked like he would struggle at Madrid too when he dropped the first set to the young Spaniard after 53-minutes of tennis during which he wasted several break points.
Indeed, after losing the set, Medvedev could he heard saying “I don’t want to play on this surface,” and he looked to have checked out a little mentally.
However, the world number three was able to regain his composure and his fight, and he was able to take the second set to force a decider.
From that point on, the Russian was in command before closing out a very welcome 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win.
“I am happy with the win,” Medvedev said afterwards.
“The first set wasn’t easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I would not win.
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“I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. I think Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so better for my game.”
Medvedev certainly retained his sense of humour after the match, writing ‘[I] love clay’ for the camera before making his way off court.
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