Daniil Medvedev celebrates at US Open

‘Needs to improve!’ – Slam legend highlights how Daniil Medvedev can fulfil potential

Mats Wilander believes Daniil Medvedev needs to improve on both clay and grass courts to get to a point where “75% of the season” is on his preferred surfaces.

For the past two decades, Grand Slam legends Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have stood out from the rest at the top of the game.

However, the next generation of players have started to emerge as the illustrious trio look to be entering the closing stages of their careers

Spearheading the stars of the next generation is Daniil Medvedev. At 26-years-old, Medvedev has won a Grand Slam at the 2021 US Open and has knocked 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic off his perch atop the ATP rankings.

Last month, Medvedev became the first player outside of the ‘Big Four’ to reach the World number one position. The last player to hold the position outside of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Andy Murray was Andy Roddick in 2004, 18 years ago.

Although, an early exit at the Indian Wells Masters handed the prestigious title back to Djokovic, who has held the position for a record total of 363 weeks.

At this week’s Miami Open, Medvedev is just one game away from reclaiming the title. Should the Russian number one overcome World number ten Hubert Hurkacz to reach the semi-finals, Medvedev will again be the new number one.

However, seven-time Grand Slam victor Mats Wilander thinks Medvedev needs to improve his tennis outside of his preferred fast hard courts.

Speaking to Eurosport, Wilander said “Daniil Medvedev has achieved the two [main] goals in his tennis career.

“He won a Grand Slam and he became World number one. So what is the third goal after that?” the Swedish great questioned.

“The third goal goes back to what we did when we were young. The goal is to improve and Daniil Medvedev needs to improve his tennis.

“Not on fast hard courts, but he needs to improve his tennis on slow hard courts. He needs to improve it on the clay court. He needs to improve it on the grass court.

“So 75% of the year is not played on Daniil Medvedev’s favourite surface. So he needs to turn that ratio around where 75% of the time he feels like he’s playing in an environment that makes him play his best tennis,” Wilander outlined.

“That’s not the case with Daniil Medvedev… But because he’s won a Grand Slam because he has become the World number one, he’s achieved that.

“Forget it now, Daniil, it’s time to go back to work and become a better tennis player.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.