Tennis: Medvedev upbeat after brutal Australian Open takes its toll

AFP , Sunday 28 Jan 2024

Daniil Medvedev said the Australian Open was the most taxing tournament he has played and losing a Grand Slam final does not get any easier, but he remained upbeat Sunday.

Russia s Daniil Medvedev speaks during a press conference after defeat against Italy s Jannik Sinner during their men s singles final match on day 15 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 29, 2024. AFP


The Russian third seed was philosophical after his 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Jannik Sinner, saying it was better than being beaten in the semi-finals.

Medvedev played four gruelling five-setters, and two other matches that went to four sets, over the past fortnight and admitted he was wiped out.

"By far. It's unbelievable," he said when asked if it had been the hardest tournament of his career.

"Five-setters are tough for the body. I'm actually, it's crazy, I would say the worst I felt was after the (Hubert) Hurkacz match, the day after.

"And after the (Alexander) Zverev match. Yesterday when I was on the practice court, I was like, 'damn, how am I going to play the final? How am I going to move'?"

The former US Open champion, who has now lost five of his six finals in the majors, made a flying start against Sinner, but began flagging in the third set and eventually ran out of steam.

He also lost the 2022 Melbourne final to Rafael Nadal after being two sets up.

He took that loss badly, but the 27-year-old said he had learned from that experience and was only looking forward now.

"Different feeling, different circumstances, I would say. Now I'm dreaming more than ever, probably not today, but in general in life," he said.

"But I would say it's not anymore a kid who is dreaming. It's me myself right now, a 27-year-old who is dreaming, and who's doing everything that is possible for my future and for my present.

"I love it. That's why I made it to the final. I wanted to win. I was close. Was I really close or not? Tough to say, but was not far."

While taking the positives from the tournament, he admitted it was still hard to lose when so close to getting his hands on the trophy.

"It's very, very tough when you have a mentality, I don't want to say champion, but a good mentality, a sport mentality, it's very tough to lose in the final," he said.

"But you have to try to find positives, and the positive is, well, the final is better than the semi-final and quarters."

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