Daniil Medvedev makes no secret of his antipathy for the slow hard courts of Indian Wells, but the Russian admitted Tuesday he’d do better to shut up and play rather than vocally venting his frustration in every match.
“I do think it actually distracts me, and I would be better just shutting up and playing,” Medvedev said after beating Alexander Zverev 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 in a wild fourth-round match in which he won the second set despite a badly twisted ankle and 10 break chances for his opponent.
He reached the last eight at Indian Wells for the first time, but admitted he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to take the court against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina because of his ankle.
“It’s big,” he said of his swollen ankle. “I cannot walk properly. But if everything is going to be fine, I’m going to tape it, take one painkiller, and go to play.”
Against Zverev, Medvedev said, he was surprised to find that even though he had trouble walking, in mid-point his movement was just fine, perhaps because he was concentrating on the task at hand.
The injury may also have helped break his fixation on the speed of the courts, which he has railed against all week -- and in editions past.
For the second straight match he threatened to take a bathroom break “as slow as the court” as he ranted on a changeover.
“What a shame to call this awful court hard court,” he fumed from his chair. “It’s a disgrace to sport this court.”
Medvedev said he knows reining in such displays is what he “should do,” but he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to bottle it up entirely.
“This high-intensity sport where you are one on one against the opponent brings the heat out of you,” he said. “Some players are capable of controlling it better than the others. Some are controlling it less, like me. That’s my character and that’s my personality.”
Medvedev said he had no interest in banding with other players to try and force a change in the playing surface.
“I understand that maybe out of 96 players, actually 60 are going to say the court is fine. That’s just my problem.”
He’ll keep working to limit the on-court histrionics “because I want to be remembered not definitely for my tantrums but more for my game and for my good parts of my personality.”