“There was always a little bit of a fight between my father and my mother. My mother wanted me to study more, which is why I was in school while playing tennis until I was 18. In Russia most professional athletes are done studying around 12 years old. It might have been the reason I wasn’t as good as my friends for some time, but I have no regrets. There were many tough times before the help from the federation and sponsors, when there wasn’t enough money. There were matches where I lost and all I was thinking about was the extra 100 dollars I could’ve made. The toughest period for me was the switch from juniors to pros. I ended at 13 in the world in junior tennis. I started to quickly understand, after playing futures, just how difficult it would be to get from 700 to 300 in the world. You needed to save as much money as possible while trying to win five or six futures as quickly as possible. At the time I was lost, didn’t know how to do that because there were so many other players trying to do the same thing. I remember talking to Bublik, playing a future thirty minutes away from where I lived in France. I was around 700 in the world and asked him, ‘How do you even become 300, it seems impossible?’ To this day he remembers that line and will joke when he sees me, ‘Come on, how did we become 300?!’ Even after reaching the top 100 for the first time, I knew deep down I wasn’t professional. When I was on court I would give 100%, but off the court I wouldn’t do the right things. I would go to bed late, play hours of PlayStation and just not worry about the small things. From 70 to top 5 in the world was the jump where I really decided to dedicate everything to tennis. I wanted to finally find my limits. I know people say there are none, but I want to test myself and find mine. That was the moment for me. I remember before that major jump where I would play one long match and I would lose the next day just because I couldn’t move. If you talk to anyone from juniors they would say I was one of the players in the worst shape, sometimes cramping after only thirty minutes...” Swipe ???? pictures to continue reading @medwed33 story!

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The core belief of Noah Rubin’s Behind the Racquet enterprise is that everyone has a story. While many of the players’ stories are about overcoming difficulty, tragedy or injury, Daniil Medvedev’s journey to the game’s elite was more of an internal battle with himself. 

“I remember talking to (Alexander) Bublik, playing a Future thirty minutes away from where I lived in France,” Medvedev wrote. "I was around 700 in the world and asked him, ‘How do you even become 300, it seems impossible?''

“Even after reaching the Top 100 for the first time, I knew deep down I wasn’t professional. When I was on court I would give 100%, but off the court I wouldn’t do the right things. I would go to bed late, play hours of PlayStation and just not worry about the small things.”

Medvedev credits his commitment to professionalism for his recent climb into the world’s Top 5.

“If you talk to anyone from juniors they would say I was one of the players in the worst shape, sometimes cramping after only thirty minutes," Medvedev said. "From 70 to Top 5 in the world was the jump where I really decided to dedicate everything to tennis. I wanted to finally find my limits. That was the moment for me.”

The 24-year-old has transformed into one of the most physically fit and mentally tough players in the world, winning an astounding 59 matches in 2019 including a memorable run to the US Open final. 


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