Daniil Medvedev news: World No 1 ranking brings ‘a lot of pressure’ and also some ‘motivation’

Daniil Medvedev interview

Sitting top of the ATP Rankings is like a double edged sword for Daniil Medvedev as he heads into the BNP Paribas Open as the world No 1 for the first time.

Medvedev became the first player other than Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to secure top spot in the rankings in nearly two decades after he replaced Djokovic at the end of February.

His rise to the top came on the back of two brilliant years of tennis as he won the 2021 US Open and also finished runner-up at three Grand Slams, including this year’s Australian Open.

Playing as the world No 1 in Indian Wells, though, will bring a different kind of pressure.

“I think it’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time a lot of motivation,” he said. “I’m going to try to do my best. It’s the same every tournament you play, try to gain as many points as possible.

“Here it’s 1,000 points. But of course the draw is very tough, a lot of strong players, so it’s not easy to make it.”

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Medvedev was favourite to win the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal and he was on course to lift a second Grand Slam as he was two sets to love up, but the Spaniard stormed back to win in five sets.

“I think it made me mature, the Australian Open, hopefully,” he said. “I understood I have a lot of room to work on myself.”

After the season-opening major, he headed to Acapulco for the Mexican Open where he was also beaten by Nadal, this time in the semi-final.

“Playing at Acapulco… consciously, the Australian Open was by far over,” he added.

“But I think unconsciously it still was somewhere there, especially playing against Rafa. Something was not right in my energy in that match. Maybe it’s [because of] this, maybe not.”