(Paris) With his first title on clay won last week in Rome, the Russian Daniil Medvedev (2nd in the world) admitted on Friday, two days before the start of Roland-Garros, to have “more expectations” than the years previous ones.
“I may have higher expectations than usual at Roland-Garros, but I know it can be a trap. You have to be able to use that confidence, but without being too sure of yourself,” he said.
His fear? Getting in trouble in the first round, because then “you get mad and you miss the game.”
The Russian will play his first game on Monday or Tuesday against a player from qualifying. Among them, his compatriot Aslan Karatsev (62nd) plays the role of scarecrow.
Medvedev’s change of mind upon arriving in Paris is largely due to his recent Rome Open title.
“I won against fantastic players, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Rune, Zapata Miralles and Ruusuvuori who played three sets against Alcaraz in Madrid… it’s a fantastic feeling,” he recalled.
Medvedev had to wait for his fifth participation, in 2021, to win his first match in the Major on clay, a surface he said he hated a few days ago. In 2021, he was beaten in the quarterfinals by future finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and, last year, he left the tournament in the round of 16, eliminated by Marin Cilic.
His chances are all the more important this year as as world No.2, he was certain not to be able to cross paths with No.1 Carlos Alcaraz before the final, and that fate placed Novak Djokovic on the the Spaniard’s road and not his own.
The tournament also takes place without the master of the place Rafael Nadal, titled 14 times.
“For sure the tournament will be different this year. Without Nadal, it will surely be different. There may be a new winner. With him, we had less chance of winning,” Medvedev said.