Daniil Medvedev storms through to Australian Open second round but laments ‘impossible’ schedule
Daniil Medvedev motored into the second round of the Australian Open but has criticised the notoriously busy tennis schedule, saying “you’ll have to sacrifice something” to constantly compete at the top.
World number two Medvedev fired ten aces en route to the second round in a domineering display against World number 91 Henri Laaksonen.
US Open victor Medvedev won convincingly 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) but Finnish-born Swiss Laaksonen made a dogged late resurgence in the closing stages of the match to take the final set to a tie-break. This saw the Swiss surpass Medvedev in the overall winner count.
The formidable Medvedev is now one of the tournament favourites following the expulsion and deportation of World number one and reigning champion Novak Djokovic.
20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was deported after a ten-day-long ordeal saw his medical exemption and visa cancelled not once, but twice.
Speaking to Reuters in his post-match press conference, Medvedev criticised tennis’ busy schedule, saying “it’s impossible, and yes, it’s definitely not enough (off-season).
“If you want to represent your country every year in [the] Davis Cup and if you are every year in the finals, well, it becomes impossible.
“So you’ll have to sacrifice something. Sometimes your body will tell you what you have to sacrifice, sometimes you will have to decide.
“And it’s not easy decisions because many people will be against your decisions.
Medvedev also feels confident in his chances of claiming a maiden Australian Open title, saying “I like pressure. I like to play here, I like hard courts. [I] always want to do better than I did last year, but it’s not going to be easy.
“I know what I have to do before the match, after the match, one day before the match, to feel good. That’s what I’m trying to reproduce.
“It does give me extra confidence because now I know that it is possible to do it, and I know that if I’m playing good tennis, it’s really tough to beat me.
“I know that I’m capable of playing seven great matches in a row on the same court or same venue, beating the best players in the world.”
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