Daniil Medvedev has revealed a reason behind his incredible form this year after winning the Italian Open: new racquet strings.
The Russian world number 2 uses a different version of the Technifbre strings and said the change in his game has been “amazing” since making the switch ahead of the Australian Open.
He has now won five titles this year – the most of his career – and Sunday’s 7-5 7-5 victory over Denmark’s Holger Rune in the Italian Open final marked the first trophy he won on clay.
“I think the strings help me…because they’re just softer, so the ball goes easier,” Medvedev told reporters after defeating Rune.
“Straight away in Australia, where I lost, with my coach, we were like, ‘Wow, I have easy depth on the ball, which is amazing'”
“In Australia, it didn’t work. I doubted myself 100%. Should I go back to the old ones, I played well with them? I said no, let’s try more. Now that’s amazing.
After an hour and 40 minute delay due to rain in Rome, Medvedev battled through a tight first set against Rune, saving two break points at 2-2 before earning the crucial break at 6-5 when he ran to the net and pounced on a bunt.
Rune, 20, responded with two breaks in the second set to take a 5-3 lead, but from there Medvedev asserted his basic dominance and won the next four games to wrap up victory.
Having won most of his titles – including his triumph at the US Open in 2021 – on hard courts, the victory on clay at the Italian Open is a defining moment for Medvedev, 27.
After Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from Roland Garros last week, the second Grand Slam of the calendar year is difficult to predict with world number one Carlos Alcaraz and 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic topping the table. just gentlemen.
But Medvedev, who has never made it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, will be confident. He had to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in his Italian Open campaign and moved up five places in the men’s rankings this year.
“This one is special because I didn’t think it was going to happen, (that I was) going to be able to do it,” he said of his latest title.
“I still don’t believe – not that I won, but that I played so well this week. I do not believe that. The way I played, I’m really happy. Glad to have this homecoming trophy in a while.
The French Open runs from May 28 to June 11 and Medvedev, whose groundstrokes look more powerful than ever, has emerged as a strong contender.