Tennis-Rome win gives Medvedev confidence for claycourt swing

By Thomson Reuters Apr 11, 2024 | 12:24 AM

(Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev got his claycourt season off to a winning start by beating Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday and the Russian said his victory in Rome last year has given him belief he can win any tournament on the surface.

Hardcourt specialist Medvedev won his first title on clay by beating Holger Rune in the Rome final, though that victory was immediately followed by a first-round exit at the French Open.

The 28-year-old’s best performance at the claycourt major came in 2021 when he reached the quarter-finals and Medvedev said he has reached a point where he accepts he just has to find different ways of winning on the surface.

“Last season mainly showed me that I can win any tournament on clay, because when you win Rome and you go to the quarters in the French, playing five sets, I believe I can win any tournament,” he told reporters.

“There’s no difference between the French Open or Rome. The French Open is a Grand Slam, so it’s a bit different, but if you are able to do well in those tournaments, you are able to play any clay court tournament. It’s good for my confidence.

“Clay is different from hard courts, because on hard courts I know I will, 90% of cases, will win… I don’t like clay as much as hard courts because of all that, but I’m in a moment when I accept this.

“I try to find solutions, and I’m very happy in the zone I’m in right now.”

Medvedev next faces compatriot Karen Khachanov later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)