This was Medvedev’s fifth opening-round exit in seven French Open appearances and he cited an inability to hit through the slow court as a primary problem.
“With this heavy balls to adjust with the wind was not easy. In my opinion, players who have like a wrist game, like my opponent today, like Carlos, I think Stefanos a little bit, have big advantage with these balls, because they can create easy power, which I don’t have,” Medvedev said. “That was a little bit the case today. He was controlling almost all the points, and I was suffering a lot, especially on the side against the wind.
“That’s why yeah, that’s basically why it was tough and why I lost.”
The silver lining to another Paris storm cloud?
Medvedev, who captured his first clay-court crown in Rome this month, said the good news is he can close the curtain on clay season and not eat dirt anymore.
The best thing about his dysfunctional relationship with dirt is Medvedev doesn’t have to confront clay for another year and can draw confidence from his Rome run.
“I’m happy again. Doesn’t matter, one time quarters, one time fourth round, a lot of times first round,” Medvedev said of his Roland Garros struggles. “I’m just happy to, again same, today I had because wind, dry court, I had a mouthful of clay since probably third game of the match, and I don’t like it.
“I don’t know if people like to eat clay, to have clay in their bags, in their shoes, the socks, white socks, you can throw them to garbage after clay season. Maybe some people like it. I don’t.
“I am happy to have it finished. I’m going to have to have a good time off. Have to find positives.”
Grass season seems to offer a reprieve for the self-described “hard-court specialist”, and while Medvedev said he prefers grass to clay, he also pointed out two potential stumbling blocks:
1. He’s not completely comfortable moving on grass yet.
2. The 2021 US Open champion, who was banned by Wimbledon along with fellow Russians and Belarusians last year, isn’t sure what type of response he’ll get from fans at The Championships.
“If people gonna decide to be harsh, it is what it is. If they’re gonna be kind, it’s great also,” Medvedev said of playing Wimbledon. “So it’s not for us to decide. I will be happy if I’m able to come to UK to play Wimbledon. I’m only planning to play Wimbledon. I go to Halle, that’s a tournament I love…
“It’s not easy to play on grass. I cannot, like I cannot even say I love it, but better than on clay. Last year I managed to make pretty good results to final. So I’m gonna try to manage to do better this year in Wimbledon than the years before.”
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