Over the last couple of years we have seen Daniil Medvedev go from strength to strength on the ATP Tour.
Three Masters 1000 titles, ATP Finals Champion, Two Major Finals and multiple Top Ten wins has seen the Russian rise up the rankings in mens tennis but it hasn’t happened for him on the clay, except for Monte-Carlo in 2019.
The run in Monaco saw the Russian make it to the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time following exceptional consecutive wins over Tsitsipas, Djokovic and Nishikori all in three sets. He then made the final in Barcelona and then surprisingly after such a promising start to the clay season lost in the first round of Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros.
It is a bizarre situation for Daniil right now. He is the world number two in the world 10,030 points which is a fine collection but has amazingly never won a match at the Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome or Roland Garros.
Daniil has played in a joint eight events in Madrid (two), Rome (two) and Roland Garros (four) but has never won, so will it change?
I think it has to, I will be stunned if it doesn’t. Clay is not his strongest surface but he certainly has the skill to be a very good clay court player.
It is quite bizarre but also it has to be looked at as well at how good he is on the hard courts, imagine if he found that consistency on clay in the last couple of years as well, we could be talking about him as a world number one.
It might be that we are having that conversation soon.
I think it will be fascinating to watch Daniil in the coming weeks and months on the clay, we know he has the pedigree on the hard courts to win major titles but he hasn’t won a match on clay in his last six which has spanned just under two years.
Looking at his Monte-Carlo draw it is a chance to make noise, no up-coming players has been better in my opinion at creating noise than Daniil over the last couple of years.
I look at his draw and it is full of good clay court players. He will have a BYE in round one but will be up against either Basilashvili or Krajinovic in round two.
2019 champion Fabio Fognini could be an opponent in the third round followed by Carreno Busta or Schwartzman for a place in the semi-final. Standing in his way of a first Monte Carlo final having made the semi’s in 2019 could be fellow country man Andrey Rublev or 11 time champion Rafael Nadal.