March 27, 2023

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Medvedev defeated a top 10 opponent for the first time in 13 months. His game is working again

Alpin’s colors are getting worse every year. Even the favorite designer of the fans does not save from sponsors and strict rules

Alpin’s colors are getting worse every year. Even the favorite designer of the fans does not save from sponsors and strict rules

Not exactly indicative.

In Rotterdam, Daniil Medvedev holds the first tournament since 2019 as a player not included in the top 10 – he dropped out of there after failing at the Australian Open. And in the quarterfinals, the Russian beat the eighth racket of the world and last year’s champion Felix Auger-Aliassime (6:2, 6:4).

The victory is important.

• Medvedev beat a top 10 opponent for the first time since January 2022;

• He broke a nine-loss streak against players in the top ten;

• And in the game have earned some key elements.


Auger-Aliassime tried to implement the anti-Medvedev’s tactics that had already become classics – knock out with outgoing innings, open the court with a forehand, go to the net. And he has an arsenal to implement these ideas.

But Medvedev found the necessary counterattacks.

1. His good tricks were not episodic, as in many recent matches against the tops, but consistently. And they went just fine. And right.

And on the left.

2. He famously dribbled – although this last year also had problems. He himself recognized them and complained that such strokes are almost impossible to work out in training. But in this match he felt them.

3. In general, he was quite aggressive, but he made few mistakes – he had 12 winners and only 5 non-forced ones. Auger-Aliassime, in turn, helped with mistakes – he knocked them out 20 with 19 winners.

4. Daniil defended the second serve well and won more than 2/3 points on it. And the second opponent, on the contrary, was torn apart and took 18 points out of 27 on it. Taking into account the fact that the FAA hit the first ball only in half of the cases, this played almost a decisive role.

5. And sometimes it was not required to find anything – Felix as a whole played very so-so.


At the same time, it should be taken into account that Medvedev’s main problem in matches with the tops in the last year was stubbornness and unwillingness to change anything.

His breakthrough was largely due to the fact that he was willing to experiment when things didn’t work out. He could suddenly turn into a serv-and-wall fan if he was outplayed on the back line. He could stir up aggression if he understood that the counterattacking style that was familiar and close to him was not working. He could change his position at the reception if he realized that the depth of his position was being used against him.

But for the last year he practically did not experiment, but rather waited for the opponent to start playing worse or that something convenient for him would suddenly work.

Therefore, the match with Felix does not answer the question of whether we see the rebirth of Daniel. Much more significant would be a victory over someone from the tops, when the main style does not work and you need to invent something. Now it is very interesting whether Medvedev is capable of this.