Two of the world’s top three rackets, Daniel Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, will set foot on the court at Aviva Center in Toronto this week. While the first intends to lift the trophy, the other will essentially try to gauge the condition of his foot injury that occurred two months ago.
Daniil Medvedev recently arrived from Tokyo, where he lost in the Olympic quarter-finals to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. Before boarding his flight to Toronto, he stopped for a few days in Orlando, Florida, to train for the National Bank Open.
“I feel good, especially physically,” he said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon.
Before playing in the scorching heat of Japan, the Russian took part in Wimbledon, where he admitted defeat in the round of 16: a disappointing result for a player of his caliber, as he said afterwards, his defeat.
“If you are in Top 10, especially in top 4 In the world, because you lost in the first round of a major tournament, that’s not a good result, no matter how well you played, if you were feeling good, if you thought you were unlucky or whatever. This is not a good result. “It’s the same here,” he suggested.
In other words: if he doesn’t make it to the final in Toronto, he’ll be dissatisfied.
“I want to show good tennis,” he continued. When I do well on tough tennis courts, I know I’m really hard to win, that way I can get the result I want. I don’t want to make any expectations, I just want to try to play well, but obviously I want to win. ”
The 25-year-old has fond memories of his last visit to Canada, when he reached the final of the National Bank Open, formerly the Rogers Cup. He was 23 years old at the time, losing to Rafael Nadal on center court at the IGA Stadium in Montreal. This was his first master’s level final in a lifetime.
“It was a very special feeling,” he recalls. I was in Montreal, so everyone was speaking French. I could speak French, but they didn’t know it, so I couldn’t interact with the audience. It was funny, and it’s fond memories. ”
“I’ve always loved playing in Canada,” added a 6’6-tall fellow.
“I’m here to do my best”
As for Rafael Nadal, he will try to defend his title he won the National Bank Open in 2019. But hearing him speak at a press conference, however, nothing is less certain that he will succeed: he still suffers from a foot injury. It happened in the semi-finals of Roland Garros two months ago.
“I’m here to do my best and keep improving,” he said. It’s been a tough few months physically. ”
Although he explained he was “obviously there to try and win”, the 35-year-old primarily insisted on the importance of testing his foot and resting on the field after so much time on the court.
“The most important thing is to try to feel that I am getting better and that I am playing better and better. That is the goal here in this tournament. I will probably play on Wednesday, so I have three days to train well and be ready for the match.”
Nadal’s last duel was a few days ago, when he was defeated at 50NS World Player, Lloyd Harris, as 8it’s a Tournament qualifiers in Washington. This tournament, like the one in Toronto, was used primarily to see where he stood with his injury and to prepare for the US Open, which begins August 30.
The Spaniard repeated several times that he needs to play without pain for several days if he is to regain confidence in his movements.
Nadal has won the National Bank Open five times, the first time in 2005 when he was just 19 years old.
“I am glad to be here,” he said. It is a place where you have had great success in the past and where you have created good memories. I’ve always loved it here. ”
Remember that Roger Federer and Canadian Milos Raonic have pulled out of the tournament and will therefore not be in Toronto this week.
I’m excited to go home. The Home Masters is always a big event and I’m glad we have such a big crowd for matches. that’s cool. For a moment, I was afraid there were no supporters. It wasn’t to be the same.
I feel good with my game, and I’m really happy to be back in Toronto, one of my favorite places to play tennis. I love the fans here, and I’m so glad we had the chance to watch that this year.
In my case, all the tournaments I participate in are important because I want to become a better player, I want to compete and improve. Especially when you are a pro, as I can get a lot of points if you play well.
I wake up every morning with the goal of being better at tennis, the sport I have chosen to dedicate my life to. I am really happy to be able to play this sport, to inspire people by doing what I do. Being where I will be tomorrow is a huge motivation and a good indication that I’ve done things well so far. I am grateful. I made a lot of effort to be in top 3, which is special.
What’s the point of having a coach with you if you can’t take full advantage of it? I know tennis is a sport where you make decisions, you decide for yourself, but sometimes an outside eye can help and change the outcome of certain matches.
I just want to do my best. I haven’t had the most stable year of training with my team. There are many deviations that have arisen from the court, both professionally and personally. I see this week as an opportunity to get back to basics.
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