Sunday, December 10, 2023

Medvedev taking different approach to off-season that his wife ‘doesn’t like’

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Daniil Medvedev shared his off-season plans after ending 2023 with a loss to Jannik Sinner in the semi-final of the ATP Finals. The world No 3 said he would be taking a trip to the islands for the first time in five years, a holiday that his wife Daria wasn’t going to enjoy too much. Medvedev is also taking a different approach to his pre-2024 preparations, admitting he wouldn’t play any tournaments before the Australian Open.

Medvedev’s season came to an end on Saturday when he suffered a three-set defeat to Sinner. The 27-year-old had a successful year, winning five titles – including his first on clay, breaking new ground at Wimbledon by reaching the semi-final and getting wins over Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.

The former world No 1 will now enjoy a different break from tennis compared to recent years, as he heads on his first island holiday in a while and opts out of warm-up tournaments for next season. While Medvedev is excited to relax and do nothing on his vacation, his wife Daria won’t be too happy without having anything to do.

“Every year was different,” Medvedev said of his last few off-seasons. “To be honest, I haven’t been on like off-season vacation as some players. You never know. One time I had Davis Cup. Last year we had a small baby, so… I was straightaway back to the duties.”

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But his plans for the end of 2023 were already clear. The world No 3 continued: “This year we’re going to go with my wife to the islands. First time in maybe four, five years. She doesn’t like it too much there because there is not much to do. But for me, that’s perfect after a hectic season. I love it.”

A two-time finalist at the Australian Open, Medvedev has often started the season with a warm-up tournament Down Under. In years past, he has represented Russia at the now-defunct ATP Cup and in 2023 he played an ATP 250 event in Adelaide.

But he will be trying something new for the 2024 season in a bid to have a longer break from the sport. “I’m probably going to play only Australian Open,” Medvedev said. “Going to try like this to have more of a vacation time than usual and start with a Slam straightaway, which is going to be new for me. But let’s see.”

The Russian also knows that he has to keep working if he wants to outdo his results next year given how tough the competition is. “Generally, I’m happy with what I achieved this season,” he added.

“I’m going to try to learn from it and try to go for more in the next season because, as we say, Sinner, Alcaraz, Novak, they play only better and better. If you want to try to stay on the top, have to improve non-stop.”

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