Refreshed Medvedev ready to 'dream again'

 - Chris Oddo

Six weeks after his hernia surgery, world No.2 is healthy and finding joy in his tennis

Daniil Medvedev, Roland Garros 2022, practice© Cédric Lecocq/FFT

A lot of time has passed since Daniil Medvedev squandered a two-set lead against Rafael Nadal in this year’s Australian Open final.

A lot has changed in Medvedev’s head as well.

Recall the 26-year-old’s stirring speech after that devastating defeat, in which he faced a fairly hostile crowd at Melbourne Park.

“I'm just talking about a few moments where the kid (in me) stopped dreaming, and today was one of them,” he said, concluding an impromptu monologue that would end up going viral. 


In Paris, as he prepares for the second Grand Slam of 2022, world No.2 Medvedev is counting his blessings and putting those harsh feelings behind him, just six weeks after undergoing hernia surgery. 

“I'm happy to be back on tour, healthy, feeling great physically, and that's the most important,” he told the media on Friday in Paris.

“I want to play, I want to show some good tennis, try to win some matches. Yeah, and I want to dream again, and I'm dreaming again.” 

Batteries recharged

Medvedev may not be in top form so soon after his surgery - he has played just one match since Miami, a loss to France’s Richard Gasquet in Geneva earlier this week - but he is feeling rejuvenated. 

“I took this time to really refresh the batteries, because I needed this,” the 2021 Roland-Garros quarter-finalist explained. “I especially felt it coming back right now, even not talking about results but coming back to practice.

"I felt that last year, including Davis Cup and straightaway going to Australia, which is always a tough travel and tough tournament in terms of clock difference, being away from home and everything - I felt that I needed this break maybe for my body and for my head.”

Originally hesitant to have the operation, Medvedev finally elected to put his season on hold in early April. Six weeks later he is extremely pleased that he was able to recover ahead of schedule.

“I was playing with it for a while,” he said of the inguinal hernia. “I wanted to find the best moment to do it. And when I say 'the best moment', also in terms of where you don't go too far playing with an injury, because that's when the recovery can go longer, and the consequences can be harsher.

“So I'm happy I'm back, because I heard it can take on average six weeks to come back to play in tennis, but maybe more. For me, it was four weeks where I took the racquet and started playing tennis. Never really felt pain. Physically, I'm feeling good, ready to play five sets.”

Daniil Medvedev, practice, Roland-Garros 2022Cedric Lecocq / FFT

Luck of the draw

Thursday’s draw was a blockbuster that placed the tournament’s top three favourites - Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz - in the top half.

Medvedev, who anchors the bottom half as the No.2 seed, stresses that he needs to focus on himself if he is to make an impact on the draw this year. 

“It's always good to not have these biggest names (in your section),” he said. “And when I say ‘biggest names', of course we know Novak, Rafa at Roland-Garros, it's crazy how they play here. Carlos (Alcaraz) has been playing amazing lately.

“It's good from one side to have them on the other side of the draw. At the same time, me, even more than other tournaments, I have to focus on myself.”