Daniil Medvedev insists his motivation for success remains as high as ever ahead of his opening match at the BNP Paribas Open as he returns to court in a singles event for the first time since he captured his maiden major title at the US Open last month.
When asked if he is struggling for motivation, Medvedev said: “Not at all. I am still young. It was a big goal for me and a dream come true, but I am still here in Indian Wells. I haven’t left the United States since the US Open because I had the Laver Cup and now Indian Wells, so if I wanted to feel good physically, going back to Europe was not a good choice since I went far at the US Open.
“I have motivation, I came here prepared. We can’t know before the tournament what the result is going to be but even if I lose [in the] second round here, it is nothing to do with the motivation. It is because of the opponent or that I was not playing that well. I am going to play a few tournaments for the rest of the year and I am going to try my best and win them.”
The Russian, who helped guide Team Europe to victory over Team World at the Laver Cup in September, is the top seed in Indian Wells at the penultimate ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.
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In preparation for Indian Wells, the 25-year-old took a different approach and decided to train at UCLA for the past week in preparation for the event to avoid a ‘burnout’ mentally.
“I was in Los Angeles for a week to try and bring my tennis up as that is what I am trying to do all the time with my coach,” Medvedev said. “It was my coach and agent who thought it was best to practise in UCLA and not to come too early, because if you come one and a half weeks before the tournament you can be burnt out. Before the tournament, you will be like ‘I cannot stay here anymore’.
“They decided that was the best place because they always have players there. There were like 10 different students practising with me. They all know how to play good tennis. You see it that people from college become Top 100, Top 300 and it is a very good level.”
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Medvedev will be targeting his first Indian Wells title and fifth Masters 1000 trophy overall over the next week, beginning against American Mackenzie McDonald.
Following his US Open triumph, the World No. 2 revealed he has had huge amounts of support off the court, including some acts of kindness at restaurants.
“There was a lot [of excitement] but more like the first week after winning,” Medvedev added. “That is when the first buzz is because everyone talks all about you. All the media and newspapers, especially in Russia. Some people I am a fan of text me, that was pretty fun. A lot of people tried to pay for me in the restaurants and I try to refuse it. Sometimes the waiter comes and says you can’t pay anymore because it has already been paid.”