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In a recent post for Noah Rubin’s “Behind the Racquet,” World No.5 Daniil Medvedev opens up about the challenges he faced as a young player and the difficult path he had to take from juniors to pros.

“There was always a little bit of a fight between my father and my mother. My mother wanted me to study more, which is why I was in school while playing tennis until I was 18. In Russia most professional athletes are done studying around 12 years old. It might have been the reason I wasn’t as good as my friends for some time, but I have no regrets,” says Medvedev.”


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“There was always a little bit of a fight between my father and my mother. My mother wanted me to study more, which is why I was in school while playing tennis until I was 18. In Russia most professional athletes are done studying around 12 years old. It might have been the reason I wasn’t as good as my friends for some time, but I have no regrets. There were many tough times before the help from the federation and sponsors, when there wasn’t enough money. There were matches where I lost and all I was thinking about was the extra 100 dollars I could’ve made. The toughest period for me was the switch from juniors to pros. I ended at 13 in the world in junior tennis. I started to quickly understand, after playing futures, just how difficult it would be to get from 700 to 300 in the world. You needed to save as much money as possible while trying to win five or six futures as quickly as possible. At the time I was lost, didn’t know how to do that because there were so many other players trying to do the same thing. I remember talking to Bublik, playing a future thirty minutes away from where I lived in France. I was around 700 in the world and asked him, ‘How do you even become 300, it seems impossible?’ To this day he remembers that line and will joke when he sees me, ‘Come on, how did we become 300?!’ Even after reaching the top 100 for the first time, I knew deep down I wasn’t professional. When I was on court I would give 100%, but off the court I wouldn’t do the right things. I would go to bed late, play hours of PlayStation and just not worry about the small things. From 70 to top 5 in the world was the jump where I really decided to dedicate everything to tennis. I wanted to finally find my limits. I know people say there are none, but I want to test myself and find mine. That was the moment for me. I remember before that major jump where I would play one long match and I would lose the next day just because I couldn’t move. If you talk to anyone from juniors they would say I was one of the players in the worst shape, sometimes cramping after only thirty minutes...” Swipe 👉 pictures to continue reading @medwed33 story!

A post shared by Behind The Racquet (@behindtheracquet) on



“There were many tough times before the help from the federation and sponsors, when there wasn’t enough money,” Medvedev says. “There were matches where I lost and all I was thinking about was the extra 100 dollars I could’ve made. The toughest period for me was the switch from juniors to pros. I ended at 13 in the world in junior tennis. I started to quickly understand, after playing futures, just how difficult it would be to get from 700 to 300 in the world. You needed to save as much money as possible while trying to win five or six futures as quickly as possible.

"At the time I was lost, didn’t know how to do that because there were so many other players trying to do the same thing. I remember talking to [Alexander] Bublik, playing a future thirty minutes away from where I lived in France. I was around 700 in the world and asked him, ‘How do you even become 300, it seems impossible?’ To this day he remembers that line and will joke when he sees me, ‘Come on, how did we become 300?!’”

Medvedev said that he needed to continue his growth and maturation even after he broke the Top 100.

“Even after reaching the top 100 for the first time, I knew deep down I wasn’t professional,” he said. “When I was on court I would give 100%, but off the court I wouldn’t do the right things. I would go to bed late, play hours of PlayStation and just not worry about the small things.

"From 70 to top 5 in the world was the jump where I really decided to dedicate everything to tennis. I wanted to finally find my limits. I know people say there are none, but I want to test myself and find mine. That was the moment for me. I remember before that major jump where I would play one long match and I would lose the next day just because I couldn’t move. If you talk to anyone from juniors they would say I was one of the players in the worst shape, sometimes cramping after only thirty minutes.”

Medvedev says the hard yards are what has enabled him to learn how to win at the elite level.

“It has been the consistency of physical training and recovery every day that has changed my game.”

But he’s careful to continue marching to the beat of his own drummer. There are many opinions out there about how he should conduct his business he said, but only the individual can know the way that suits himself.

“I don’t have an idol I just want to be myself. … if you get ten people in front of you there will be ten different opinions. There will always be someone who says ‘It has to be this way,’ but it doesn’t.”

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