Top seed Daniil Medvedev is feeling confident he can have further success on hard courts in the coming weeks as he prepares to compete at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto to start his North American summer hard-court swing.
The Russian has won 10 of his 11 tour-level titles on hard courts, with the other coming on grass earlier this year in Mallorca. Medvedev is targeting a strong run in Toronto after reaching the final of this event in Montreal in 2019. The two cities alternate hosting duties of Canada’s Masters 1000 tournament.
“I am the top seed so anything except the final will not be a good result,” Medvedev said, cracking a smile. “I want to play good tennis. I know when I play good tennis on hard courts, I am hard to beat.
“I am keen to win. I know I am capable of beating a lot of guys on hard and I know I can win big tournaments. At the same time, everybody plays well, everybody can beat everybody. It is unpredictable.”
The 25-year-old enjoyed a memorable breakthrough run to the Montreal final in 2019, defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem en route to the championship match before falling to five-time champion Rafael Nadal. It is an experience that Medvedev relished as he went on to win his first Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati later in August and reach his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open the following month.
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“It was a special tournament,” Medvedev smiled. “It was my first Masters 1000 final. I came here from Washington and I was pretty exhausted already. I didn’t know what to expect, I just wanted to play good tennis. It was the best result of my career at the time. It was a special feeling. I like playing in Canada.”
The World No. 2, who has won three Masters 1000 titles, leads the field in Toronto as the top seed. While Medvedev enjoys being viewed as one of the favourites going into events, he admitted it adds pressure.
“Each week, you are going to play strong opponents who will want to beat you as you are No. 2 in the world,” Medvedev said. “I played quite good tennis at Wimbledon, but being top four in the world, even though it was a tough five-set battle against Hubert Hurkacz, to lose in the fourth round at a Grand Slam was not a good result.”