Daniil Medvedev - Roland Garros 2022

Daniil Medvedev ‘inspired’ by fellow Russian major champion to fix Roland Garros woes

Daniil Medvedev has spoken of his want to be ‘better’ on clay, as he looks to Maria Sharapova’s journey to two Roland Garros titles for inspiration.

Medvedev has previously confessed to ‘hating’ playing on clay, but now seems to be willing to improve.

Like Daniil Medvedev, Sharapova also did not enjoy playing on the surface in the early part of her career and did not win her first title on clay until 2008, when she already had 18 titles across grass and hard courts.

Following her first clay title in Amelia Island, Sharapova went onto win 10 more titles on the surface including two Roland Garros crowns, and four WTA 1000 titles.

Medvedev spoke of how he can gain inspiration from his countrywoman, “It’s true, I forgot about her. Yes, I can be inspired by Sharapova’s journey. And it’s true, I’ve never been able to move very well on clay.”

He continued, “I slide not before the court, but after the court, because I don’t know, maybe I’m scared or something. In Doha, on the hard court was very slow, probably one of the slowest, along with Rotterdam a few years ago.”

The No.6 mentioned how even his wife and coach have spoken about his potential on the surface, “And my wife told me that my coach Gilles was watching me play, and I was running everywhere, lobbing, hitting back, and he said ‘Damn, if Daniil could move good on clay, I think he’d be unbeatable.'”

Medvedev added, “I’m trying to work on that. I’m sure I can be even better on clay, I just need a really good day, or basically two weeks, that on hard courts sometimes I can be out for a few days and still win and then pick up the pace again.”

Daniil Medvedev’s record at Roland Garros

The epitome of perfecting the art of clay is winning a title at Roland Garros, to which Rafael Nadal has done on 14 occasions.

Despite the discussion mainly being about Medvedev’s struggle on the clay, he has got to a later round at Roland Garros than at Wimbledon.

Here is Medvedev’s full history at Roland Garros:

Win-loss record: 7-6 (54%)

2017: Lost in the first round to Benjamin Bonzi (wildcard), 7-5 4-6 1-6 1-3 (retired)

2018: Lost in the first round to Lucas Pouille (15), 2-6 3-6 4-6

2019: Lost in the first round to Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 6-4 6-4 3-6 2-6 5-7

2020: Lost in the first round to Marton Fucsovics, 4-6 6(3)-7 6-2 1-6

2021: Lost in the quarter-final to Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), 3-6 6(3)-7 5-7

2022: Lost in the fourth round to Marin Cilic (20), 2-6 3-6 2-6

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.