Daniil Medvedev says he is trying to “mature” and do fewer “stupid things” on court to shake off his reputation as a tennis villain.
The Russian world number three is no stranger to outbursts and meltdowns on court, which has earned him a love-hate relationship with fans.
But the 27-year is keen to change the narrative, starting at the Australian Open, where he is a two-time finalist.
“I want to change, I want to mature. I feel like I’ve done a big step these last months,” he said on Friday at Melbourne Park.
“Hopefully people can see it on the court because that’s the toughest challenge, tournaments.
“When you’re on court, that’s where the adrenaline is on its highest. That’s where it’s tougher to control your emotions.
“Even if something happens, I just want to kind of go with who I am, try to do less stupid things that don’t help me as a person and tennis player.
“Hopefully I can achieve it this season, and we’re going to see a new Daniil Medvedev.”
The Australian Open third seed was outplayed by Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final before a heart-wrenching defeat by Rafael Nadal at the same stage a year later.
That narrow defeat in 2022 had a profound impact on Medvedev, who struggled to recapture the same form for the rest of the year and slipped out of the world’s top 10.
He lost in the third round of the Australian Open in 2023, but has since bounced back, winning 66 matches last season, more than any other player on tour.
“What did I learn from last Australian Open? I think the thing I learned is the future is bright no matter what.
“I remember last year sitting in a press conference room. Was a tough feeling after the loss. I think dropping out of top 10, stuff like this.”
For the first time, Medvedev is entering the first Grand Slam of the year without playing a warm-up tournament, a move he admitted was a risk.
But he said he needed a proper break from the grind of the tennis tour.
“Everything feels like a risk, especially when you try it for the first time,” he said.
“But as I say, otherwise I would be 35 years old and I would actually never have spent a New Year at home, never do this.
“So I decided that is a year to try. If I would go here for a warm-up tournament, I would have like, two weeks of pre-season. Then you go, you go non-stop.”
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