Medvedev Stakes Early Claim For #NextGenATP Finals
Daniil Medvedev has earned the "Milan Contenders Spotlight" for the month of January and has also put himself in early contention to be one of the rising stars who qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals this November in Milan. The top seven 21-and-under players in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan standings will play at the event. The eighth player will be chosen by wild card.
The 20-year-old Medvedev started the year by reaching his first ATP World Tour final in Chennai, enabling him to jump from No. 99 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to a career-high standing of No. 63.
“I was really happy to be chosen for this. It means a lot to me,” said Medvedev. “It means I’ve had a good month and the best start to the year among the #NextGenATP players, so I’m really proud of that.”
The Russian made plenty of improvements to his game during the off-season at his home base in Cannes, France, working on strengthening his volleys and increasing his stamina to contest long matches. He also spent four days this past December in Bretagne, France, participating in a pre-season physical training camp organised by Tecnifibre.
“It was something new that I had never done before. It was actually my first time swimming in the ocean!” said Medvedev. “It was very fun and only guys from the centre where I practise were there, so we all know each other well. It was just a fun camp with physical work and some activities, so there were also chances to relax a bit from tennis."
The Russian is hopeful that the physical and on-court additions to his game will be enough to qualify for Milan. But with a growing crop of #NextGenATP stars, including Alexander Zverev, Borna Coric and Taylor Fritz, Medvedev knows that doing so will be a difficult task.
“It’s still a long way to get there because there are a lot of good young players who are playing well,” said Medvedev. “If you qualify for Milan, you will probably have to be ranked in the Top 100 or maybe even the Top 80, so it means you’ve had a great year. There are a lot of us who will have chances to make it to there.”
Luckily for Medvedev, the chances for accomplishing his goals have been helped by a boosted bank account. He won a $50,000 cheque for being named the Tecnifibre Young Gun on the Road in 2016, beating out Mitchell Krueger, Omar Jasika and Gregoire Barrere in the four-month competition.
“I’m putting the money into everything for my career,” said Medvedev. “I could spend some of the money to buy tickets for my coach to come with me to Chennai and Melbourne. Maybe I’ll take a physio to some tournaments if I feel that I need it. It’s a very big start-up for my future.”