Medvedev Navigates Cramped Courts at Madrid Open

Medvedev Navigates Cramped Courts at Madrid Open

Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, has faced a unique challenge at the Mutua Madrid Open: navigating the tournament's smaller courts. Unlike the spacious central court, the other courts have presented Medvedev with limited room to maneuver, forcing him to adapt his trademark deep return position.

"The courts here except the central court are a bit smaller than I would like, so I play like someone is pushing me in the back," Medvedev explained. "Even though my serve doesn't need that much space, the feeling is still there."

Despite the cramped conditions, Medvedev has managed to survive two tight three-setters. After rallying past Matteo Arnaldi in the second round, he faced a stern test against Sebastian Korda. Holding from deuce at both 4-5 and 5-6 in the second set, Medvedev eventually secured the lone break of their deciding set before serving out the match.

"Especially on clay, I feel like you need more space than on hard court," Medvedev said. "The ball is bouncing higher. I like to take it on the low, you need like two more meters than (what) is here."

Medvedev's second-serve strategy has also been a work in progress. "I'm always questioning myself," he admitted. "Do I step in where I don't feel the most comfortable? Do I stay back and have the chance that I'm gonna have a tough ball to play anyway?"

Despite the challenges, Medvedev has advanced to the fourth round, where he will face Alexander Bublik. The No. 17 seed has lost all five of his prior encounters with Medvedev, but the Russian is taking nothing for granted.

"I'm really happy with what happened today," Medvedev said. "I'm just trying to find my way, trying to find my game, trying to find my rhythm."

Tags: #DaniilMedvedev, #MutuaMadridOpen, #Tennis, #ClayCourt, #CourtSize

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