Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev will walk on to the courts of a tournament at the top of the ATP Rankings for the first time at the Indian Wells ATP Masters. However, it’s not the first time he will be the top seed at an event. Medvedev is 1,100 ATP Ranking points ahead of world No.3 Alexander Zverev and 150 points ahead of world No.2 Novak Djokovic. It is to be noted that the Serbian will not be participating in Indian Wells or Miami this month.
“I think it’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time a lot of motivation,” he said while speaking at a BNP Paribas Open pre-tournament press conference. “I’m going to try to do my best. It’s the same every tournament you play, try to gain as many points as possible. Here it’s 1,000 points. But of course the draw is very tough, a lot of strong players, so it’s not easy to make it.”
The 26-year-old was right about the difficult draw he has to overcome in order to win the title. He might come up against Stefanos Tsitsipas, defending champion Cameron Norrie, Gael Monfils and Carlos Alcaraz. If he overcomes the obstacles in his path, he may have to prepare for a third 2022 encounter with Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Notably, Nadal beat Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 at the Australian Open final despite trailing 2-0 after the first two sets.
The Russian star has played only one event since the season’s first Grand Slam. However, he fell yet again to Nadal in the Acapulco semifinals. Now, Medvedev has an opportunity to get his revenge on the Spaniard. Besides, the Indian Wells title would give the Russian five different Masters 1000 hard-court titles. It would then give him a chance to complete his collection of all six such trophies in Miami.
“Playing at Acapulco… consciously, the Australian Open was by far over,” he stated. “But I think unconsciously it still was somewhere there, especially playing against Rafa. Something was not right in my energy in that match. Maybe it’s [because of] this, maybe not.”
“I think it made me mature, the Australian Open, hopefully,” he reflected. “I understood I have a lot of room to work on myself.”
In a major blow to tennis fans across the world, 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open presented by Itau.
“While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic tweeted. “The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”