Medvedev: I'll think about this match for a week

 - Chris Oddo

The No.2 seed made strides on clay in 2023, but they didn't translate to Paris

Thiago Seyboth Wild, Daniil Medvedev, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT

There will be no code-cracking for Daniil Medvedev this year in Paris. The crafty, charismatic 27-year-old is well-equipped to master most problems he faces on a tennis court, but the red clay continues to be the puzzle he struggles to solve. 

After Tuesday’s 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss to 172nd-ranked qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild, Medvedev was once again left to ponder his relationship with the surface. 

Medvedev, who dropped to a 7-7 record at Roland-Garros with his first-round defeat, voiced his frustration and said that every year there is one guarantee: that he will be pleased that the clay season is over. 

“I am happy to have it finished,” he said. “I'm going to have to have a good time off. Have to find positives. A lot of relaxing next days. Happy to go to the next challenges even if, for sure, I wanted to stay longer in Paris.” 

The world No.2 entered 2023 with an 18-23 lifetime record on the surface, but raised eyebrows – and expectations – this spring when he won 10 of his first 12 matches on clay and entered Paris on the heels of winning his first Masters 1000 title on the surface. 

When the men’s singles draw came out last Thursday, many a pundit penciled the 27-year-old for a deep run. 

No such luck.

“For sure I'm really disappointed,” Medvedev admitted in a crowded press conference. “I’m gonna be thinking about this match for a week, but for the moment I don't see anything wrong I did.”

Does he feel that there was progress on clay in 2023, given that he achieved his greatest victory on the clay just nine days ago in Rome? 

“100 per cent,” the No.2 seed said. “The match today, my opinion, I played well. I was trying. I was trying. I didn't feel like before – sometimes I was feeling: ‘Wow, I really cannot do anything [on clay]’. 

“Today I felt like I'm doing what I have to do, and he played well, so let's continue. And, well, the match was over and I didn't manage to win it.”

Daniil Medvedev, first round, Roland-Garros 2023© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Despite the disappointing result, the 2021 Roland-Garros quarter-finalist expressed hope for brighter days in Paris. 

“I never thought I'm gonna win a tournament on clay, [let alone] a Masters. So I have to think more about this right now than Roland-Garros, unfortunately.

"Next year I'm gonna be maybe even more motivated to try to repeat the success of this year.”