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‘He tricks you’: ‘Chess participant’ Daniil Medvedev keeps opponents in check | Tennis News – Times of India

MELBOURNE: Confidence is king and Daniil Medvedev has loads of it, with the affable Russian morphing into not only one of tennis’s finest gamers and premier athletes, however among the many smartest.
Standing at a lanky 6ft 6in and pencil-skinny, he has emerged on the forefront of the subsequent wave seeking to smash the ‘Big Three’ monopoly of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
After reaching the 2019 US Open remaining, the place he misplaced to Nadal, he has labored laborious on his recreation and health to race by means of the rankings and goes into Sunday’s Australian Open remaining towards Djokovic on a 20-match win streak, demonstrating his psychological and bodily stamina.
Enjoying a profession-excessive rating of 4, he has come to phrases along with his immense potential.
Before his rise in 2019, he might let his feelings get in the way in which and by no means shied away from admitting he didn’t do all the things as professionally as potential.
He competed laborious and did his work on the apply court docket, however his food plan and restoration routines weren’t what they need to be, with the 25-12 months-outdated having fun with sweets and croissants.
And if an extended match went late, he would typically skip the ice tub.
“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,” he mentioned final 12 months.
But Medvedev, nicknamed Bear, has modified and it has paid dividends.
During his 20-match run, he has overwhelmed each prime-10 participant besides Federer, who has been out injured.
When knowledgeable of this, he replied: “It’s great to know this. It’s a pity that Roger is not playing,” suggesting he was additionally assured of taking his scalp.
Medvedev is an clever man. He excelled in physics and maths in school, graduating early and enrolling at a college in his native Moscow to review utilized economics and commerce.
He opted as a substitute to play tennis full-time, transferring to the south of France, the place his sister lived, to learn from its excessive-high quality teaching and amenities.
Fluent in Russian and English, he’s additionally typically heard conversing in French along with his coach, Gilles Cervara, who has helped steer him to the place he’s at present.
Despite leaving college early, Medvedev stays a tactical thinker, or as commentator Jim Courier put it this week: “He’s a master chess player on court”.
Medvedev keeps opponents guessing along with his flat and low groundstrokes, whereas altering up the tempo and angles, mixing impenetrable defence with opportunistic offence.
His semi-remaining opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas as soon as known as Medvedev’s taking part in model “boring” however even the Greek star has been received over.
“Let me tell you that he’s a player who has unlocked pretty much everything in the game,” he mentioned after crashing to him in straighht units.
“He tricks you. You know, he plays the game really smart. It’s really interesting to see that.”
While the Russian has refined his recreation, a key rule nonetheless applies and that’s to “fight like crazy”, a trait drilled him into by one of his first tennis coaches when he was nonetheless a small boy.
“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,” he mentioned.

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