Daniil Medvedev is gearing up for a tough season as the return of Rafael Nadal and the addition of Paris Olympics are going to add more pressure on the players. Image Credit: WTL

Abu Dhabi: Daniil Medvedev is ready to hit the top gear in Abu Dhabi as he targets a better performance in Grand Slams and bigger tournaments for next year.

A key member of the PBG Eagles’ campaign in the Meteora World Tennis League at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the world No 3 targets more Grand Slam crowns to avoid a hectic schedule to maintain his ranking in 2024.

“I have a big target for next year. I think I had a very good 2023, especially at the start, but was not able to maintain the momentum. There were moments during the season where I was a bit tired mentally or did not prepare enough,” said the 27-year-old. “So my target in the new year is to try to have the same start and maintain it during the season.

“I’ll try to handle this aspect better in consultation with my team. Generally, I am working hard right now to show my best level straight away from the Australian Open and have the best season.”

As a start, Medvedev and his good friend and Eagles teammate Andrey Rublev raced on the Yas Marina track ahead of the World Tennis League.

Tough season

Talking about the race, Medvedev said he could not go all out against Rublev due to the instructions he had received, but there were no such limits on the court, where he was speeding past his rivals. “Actually, we couldn’t really compete there because we’re following our instructors for safety reasons. They didn’t let us go full throttle, still it was lot of fun and, for sure, one day we could do it ourselves and push ourselves to the limit, which will be even more fun,” he added.

Fun is one aspect Medvedev doesn’t miss on court and off it. He gets into a banter with Rublev with a no holds barred approach.

However, mentally Medvedev is gearing up for a tough season as the return of Rafael Nadal and the addition of the Paris Olympics to the packed calendar are going to add more pressure on the players.

Talking about the schedule, Medvedev feels a good performance in big tournaments will allow him the breather to pick and choose the events among a gruelling schedule.

“I had some great matches, some great wins and some tense tournaments in 2023. At one moment I went out of top 10, so I started playing more tournaments, which is normal. Hopefully, next year I can play better at the bigger tournaments because that allows you to skip some other tournaments have more time to practice and more time to prepare. That’s the only thing I see as something I could do much better than this year,” he added.

Different motivation

The 27-year-old Russian aims to get better with age and is motivated to fight harder in the coming season.

“Everyone is going to have different motivation for different reasons. Last two years when I had an amazing run, I felt like I was changing. I was getting older. I’m not 23 anymore going for my first title. Right now, I hope this form can last for a long time and my biggest motivation is to continue finding my limits,” said the former world No 1.

“Olympics is so tough about the calendar but if I can prove it, 100 per cent I can be a very good clay court player. So I am really looking forward to rolling the dice next year,” he concluded.