After winning the Italian Open, Daniil Medvedev attributed his incredible performance this year to his new racket strings.
The second-ranked Russian player has switched to a new version of Technifibre strings and has noticed a significant improvement in his game since making the change before the Australian Open.
He has now won five titles this year – the most in his career – and Sunday’s 7-5 7-5 victory against Denmark’s Holger Rune in the Italian Open final marked the first trophy he has captured on clay.
Medvedev explained to reporters that he believes using strings helps him in his game, as they are softer and make it easier for the ball to move.
“In Australia, when my coach and I realized that I had lost, we were amazed by the ease and depth of my ball.”
“In Australia, my approach was unsuccessful. I began to doubt my abilities entirely. Should I return to my previous methods, which had brought me success? Despite my hesitation, I decided to push forward and try something new. The results have been incredible.”
Following a 100-minute hold-up caused by rain in Rome, Medvedev persevered through a close first set against Rune. He managed to defend against two break points at 2-2 before ultimately gaining the pivotal break at 6-5 by swiftly approaching the net and capitalizing on a drop shot.
At 20 years old, Rune managed to break twice in the second set and gain a 5-3 advantage. However, Medvedev then showcased his dominance at the baseline and secured the victory by winning the following four games.
At the Italian Open, 27-year-old Medvedev achieved a breakthrough moment by securing a victory on clay, despite the majority of his titles being won on hard courts, including his 2021 US Open triumph.
After Rafael Nadal’s exit from the French Open last week, the upcoming second major tournament of the year is challenging to forecast, as top-ranked player Carlos Alcaraz and 22-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic are the top contenders in the men’s singles bracket.
However, Medvedev, who has never advanced past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, will have a sense of assurance. He was able to beat top players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in the Italian Open and has risen five spots in the men’s rankings this year.
“He expressed his excitement for his latest title, stating that he was unsure if he would be able to achieve it.”
“I am still having a hard time accepting the fact that I not only won, but also played exceptionally well this week. It’s hard to believe. I am extremely pleased with my performance and happy to bring this trophy home.”
The French Open occurs between May 28 and June 11, and Medvedev has emerged as a formidable contender with his improved ground strokes.