Daniil Medvedev sees opportunity in Rafael Nadal’s absence from Roland Garros
Daniil Medvedev believes that the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal from the French Open has given the tournament its most open field in years.
Carlos Alcaraz will be the top seed at the second Grand Slam of the year while No 2 Novak Djokovic will anchor the men’s singles draw.
Medvedev, who reached just his second Masters Series semi-final on clay in Rome this week believes that Nadal not being present will give many players the belief that they can go all the way.
He feels that whatever condition Nadal might have been in, he would always have been the favourite at Roland Garros.
“I guess it’s a first Roland Garros in whatever, 10 years, where there is no Rafa and probably out of these ten he won it probably what, nine, eight times,” Medvedev said after hearing about the withdrawal of Nadal from the French Open.
“It opens the possibility for many players because even if he would not be let’s call it 100% physically but he would decide to play, he would be favourite, for sure”, he said.
Medvedev added that he hoped that we haven’t seen the last of Nadal at the Grand Slams.
“Hopefully he can come back as fast as possible because he’s an amazing player, amazing athlete, one of the best in the history”, Medvedev said.
“We can argue about this but hopefully he can come back and play some more Slams as long as he can and we’ll see how it goes.”
Medvedev has won all but one of his career titles on hard courts but has enjoyed his best-ever clay swing and could himself be in contention for his second Major in Paris.
“I said before the tournament that I was feeling really great on practice. I’m proving it. I feel great,” the Russian No 1 said about his form in recent weeks.
“I knew I had to put as many balls in the court as possible because he plays aggressive so there are not many points where you’re going to be leading the point, it’s going to be mainly him”, he said.
“What you have to do, play deep and try to make him miss. I managed to do it. Maybe he didn’t play the best match but that’s how it works. You cannot play your best match every day.”
Medvedev will face either Borna Coric or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Rome Masters last four. In the other semi-final Norway’s Casper Ruud takes on Denmark’s Holger Rune.
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