Daniil Medvedev looks disappointed

‘Hopefully I can do something good at Roland Garros’ Surprising lack of success hasn’t stopped Daniil Medvedev from thinking positive

Daniil Medvedev has never won a match at the French Open but the 25-year-old Russian is confident in his ability to succeed on the surface.

Although he has fallen at the first hurdle in all four of his appearances at Roland Garros, Daniil Medvedev has enjoyed success elsewhere on clay. In the last full clay-court season in 2019 he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo before losing to Dusan Lajovic in the semi-finals and then beat Kei Nishikori in Barcelona before losing to Dominic Thiem in the final. “I know that I can play some good tennis on clay,” Medvedev said.

The world No 2 said there had been particular circumstances surrounding all four of his first-round defeats at Roland Garros. In 2017 he was recovering from glandular fever when he had to retire in the fourth set against Benjamin Bonzi, in 2018 he lost to an in-form Lucas Pouille and in 2019 he let slip a two-sets-to-love lead against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

“He started playing some unbelievable tennis,” Medvedev recalled. “There wasn’t much I could do. That was a year when I was feeling good on clay. I had my chances to win the match, but I couldn’t close it out. He had, I don’t know, 3,000 people behind him on a small court cheering him on. It wasn’t an easy match and it was definitely a tough loss, which made me a better player, I think, because I always like to learn from losses.”

Last year Medvedev lost in four sets to Marton Fucsovics, when he paid for a lack of clay-court preparation after the tournament was moved to the autumn. “I wasn’t ready and I’m not a clay-court specialist who can go out there and know immediately what to do,” he said. “Hopefully I can prepare well this year and have the best schedule so that I can do something good at Roland Garros.”