Now ranked number one in the world, Medvedev heads into 2022 with both optimism and expectation.
Timepiece: BOVET OttantaSei Tourbillon Born: February 11th 2006 Nationality: RussianATP Ranking: #1 in the world Grand Slam Victories: 1 ATP Tour Victories: 13 Davis Cup Victories: 1 Nickname: The Chessmaster Wife: Daria Medvedev Racquet: Technifibre ATP TFight 305 XTC Clothing Sponsor: Lacoste
Daniil Medvedev is not your typical tennis player. With an unusual style and a strategical savvy that has earned him the nickname “the Chessmaster,” Medvedev is a whirlwind on the tennis court, chasing down everything and using his booming serve and powerful groundstrokes to control the match.
Not just a physically gifted player, Medvedev is considered a true game-changer of the sport
Medvedev has been a global ambassador for the House of BOVET since 2019. Mr. Raffy saw him as a revolutionary talent and the next leader of modern tennis, and the relationship was born.
Q: In 2022, there will be higher expectations as a result of 2021? Does this worry you or does it motivate you?
A: High expectations motivate me. I have to work hard in practice. I will try to win every match I play. It’s match by match to win a tournament. In Grand Slams, it’s seven matches to win the tournament. It doesn’t matter where you are ranked. My expectation is higher, and the better I do, the better I want to do.
Q: People only see the results of all the training you do, when you play in a tournament. What is your daily life like?
A: Training is both good and bad. When I wake up, I have a choice to train or not to train, as it’s an individual sport. I can decide to do anything I want. If I want good results, I am the only one who will push myself to work harder every day.
Some days, my work will be less good and some days better. I try to keep my training private. I put in a lot of time, with fitness hours and with tennis hours. I have to be ready to play four or five hours against the best.
Q: What do you wish people knew about you?
A: People always ask me what is the thing they don’t know. If there is something I didn’t tell about myself, there is a reason. People should not just be defined by performance in sports. You can never know what a person is really like, based on their performance.
Q: What are your goals for 2022?
A: I try to set goals with my team. I don’t really set goals for tournaments, we have 20 or so tournaments, and some are more important than others. I want to win all of them. I don’t want to set a goal of winning the French Open, because if I don’t achieve it, it can have a negative mental influence. My first goal is to continue working hard, trying my best, so after the season I can say I had no regrets and I will try to do better next season. I will learn from my successes and my mistakes. I don’t want to live a life with regrets.
Q: Yogi Berra famously said “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” How much of tennis is mental vs. physical?
A: Tennis is so tough, because there are so many small details. It’s so important, the physical part, I would say it’s 33% tennis, 33% physical and 33% mental, 1 percent for the rest.
Q: Are you aware of the time while you are playing?
A: Sometimes, I am aware of the time. Sometimes I play a night match, so I am aware of how late it is, because I have to worry about when I can get to bed so I can be rested for the next match. During a night match, for example, I could be close to winning, then something happens and the match starts to get away from me and go longer, so I might look at the time to see when I might be able to get to sleep.
If I have to play seven hours to win a match, I will. I sometimes think about closing it out quicker, but each match is different.
I look at the time clock all the time. We only have 25 seconds to hit the next serve, so that’s important to keep track of.
Q: Does time speed up or slow down during the course of a match?
A: It depends match by match. If there are big serves, time goes so fast. Like everything in life, when you are losing, time goes faster because you feel like you have less time to catch up. If you are winning, you feel like time drags on forever. I practice so much, though, so I feel that I follow the score more than the time.
Q: What is your secret to success?
A: Hard work. Of course, everyone works hard, but if you don’t work hard, success is not possible. I am putting in a lot of time with my team to see how we can do better, what we can do differently. When you win, you try to continue. We talk a lot about strategy. The main part is hard work and always trying to learn.
Q: What is your greatest strength?
A: I think my defense on hard courts. I try to put the ball in a difficult position for my opponent. People know that if they want to win a point, they have to play perfectly. I can get pretty much any ball. I like my serve, as well.
Q: What is your biggest weakness?
A: Playing on other surfaces. I am working really hard and I have improved my results. I am working with my team to become more of an all-around player, changing my game a little bit. If I have a weakness, I work on it every day.
Q: You are often billed as the leader of the “New Wave” in tennis. Is that accurate? Is now your time?
A: It’s normal, the big three (Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal) are getting older, they are losing more matches than before. In a physical sport like tennis, the young guys come up stronger and fitter and really push the old guard. Djokovic still won three out of four Grand Slams in 2021. We have to appreciate them, but we are trying our best.
Q: Why did you choose to work with BOVET?
A: It was after I won my first Masters, the higher you rise in the rankings, the more companies want to work with you. My agent got in touch and as soon as he told me about it, I thought it was a great project. BOVET has a history with tennis, they have the best timepieces in the world, so I wanted to represent the brand. To me, the idea was very interesting and we decided to work together.
Q: What values do you share with BOVET?
A: The main one is loyalty. That’s what I try to do with every company I work with. We can have good moments and bad ones, and we go through them together. It is important for me to know that even during the tough moments, we stay together. I know a lot of people in the company and it’s like a big family. We have each other’s back.
Q: What do you like about BOVET timepieces?
A: I like the style. The timepieces have unbelievable mechanisms and the design of each is so special. All of them are limited and exclusive. It’s super cool to know that you can have a timepiece that no one else has. I feel you can find anything you want in the BOVET collection.
Q: Tell me about your relationship with Mr. Pascal Raffy, Owner of BOVET?
A: The relationship is a very warm one. We met for the first time at the US Open in 2018, which was a crazy tournament. After the tournament, I had breakfast with him in my hotel and I felt this warm welcome in the company and he felt the same. After this, I felt that we could trust each other, and we have built a great relationship. We meet from time to time and we talk on the phone a lot. It has always been a lot of fun to be together. In Monaco this year, we had a great evening before the Grand Prix. I feel like I can trust BOVET and they can trust me.
Q: Has your appreciation for fine timepieces grown since you have been working with BOVET?
A: Before I was more interested in other luxury things, like cars, but since I started working with BOVET I have learned so much and I have become much more interested. When you are interested in something, you learn so much more. I have discovered so many cool details in the Bovet timepieces. I know so much more now and every time I am with people from the company, I ask questions about how things work and why this design. Every watch they make has its own story.
Q: Will you visit Switzerland and the BOVET facility and castle this year?
A: I hope so. We were going to do it in 2020, then COVID hit.
Q: Would you like to design your own BOVET timepiece one day?
A: I would love to; it would be a dream come true. I would love to sit down with Mr. Raffy and work on a timepiece that was uniquely mine.