Daniil Medvedev accuses ATP of making tournaments easier for Djokovic and Nadal
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Daniil Medvedev has claimed that the structure of most ATP tournaments often makes it easier for the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to win by giving them fewer matches to play than some of their rivals. A couple of recent events, such as the Madrid Open and Rome Open, have had bigger draws this year as part of a concentrated attempt to make the competitions longer and better overall.
A handful of players have relayed complaints about the expanded format in recent weeks, with the structure making the job slightly harder for top-seeded players such as Medvedev, Djokovic and Nadal by giving them an additional round to win. The Russian is not opposed to the bigger draws in Madrid and Rome, though, as he believes that it helps to level the playing field by taking some of the power away from the sport’s highest-profile names.
“I said it in Madrid, I think it puts less advantage for top players,” explained Medvedev. “The less matches you have, the easier it is to win the tournament. That’s why for top-four players it is even easier to win. You have only four matches. I think for top-eight, top-16 players, it’s a disadvantage.
“Personally, I like it. I think it’s good for all the players. It gives more opportunities for players because it’s a bigger draw.”
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Medvedev went on to highlight Jan-Lennard Struff as an example of how lower-ranked players can benefit from the expanded system, with the German reaching the final of the Madrid Open before losing at the hands of Carlos Alcaraz in the decisive match.
“Struff, I don’t know what his ranking in the acceptance list was,” continued Medvedev. “With the previous draw maybe, he would not get in qualies. The same: the smaller the draw, the less chances of retirement. Maybe he wouldn’t get in as a lucky loser, would not be in his first final of a 1000, would not be in his highest ranking right now of his career.”
Medvedev was not entirely happy with how the Madrid Open went, though, after claiming that he did not have enough room to return on the second-biggest show court during his last-16 defeat to Aslan Karatsev in the Spanish capital. He argued with the umpire during the match and later said that he felt he was disadvantaged by the small court size, although he conceded that there was nothing that could have been done to improve the situation at the time.
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“This is a very interesting topic because I can probably understand out of 96 players, maybe 94 or 92 will not care about the size of the court because they just return closer and stuff,” he said.
“The thing is when I talk to my coach after the match to try to see what I could have done better, how was the match, I thought it was really good match, where Aslan played good, which was impressive. The only thing we agreed on my coach was disappointing, I don’t know how the match would go if I can be further on return.
“On clay is even more important for me than on hard courts because in hard courts I can adapt. I like hard courts. In Doha it was a really small court, I managed to win it.”
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