10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Medvedev survives slow conditions in Indian Wells, but isn’t happy about it

Not even painfully slow conditions–which aren’t at all good for his game–can stop Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev extended his winning streak to 16 matches when he held off Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in round three of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday night. The world No. 7, who is coming off consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai, managed survive wind, relative cold, and a lack of court speed to advance after one hour and one hour and 45 minutes.

But he wasn’t thrilled. In fact, after winning he signed the camera with a frowny face accompanied by the caption “tad slow.”

Conditions in Indian Wells are slow, and they are even slower at night. It was a recipe that messed with Medvedev’s mind, but not with his winning ways.

“(It’s) very tough, not easy to play here,” the 2021 U.S. Open champion said at his post-match press conference. “For everyone; for everyone. I feel like there are, let’s say, 10 players that have the quality–I will not say which one–but to play [well] here, because they have something in their game that can help them. Other than that, everyone is struggling.

“You can see a lot of matches 6-1 in one of the sets, and you look at it on TV and you’re like, ‘the other one is not playing bad;’ just few moments (are decisive). You miss a few shots in important moments after a 25-shot rally. That kind of was the difference between second and third set. I cannot say I played much better in the third, but (I) managed to be the one not missing after 25 shots.

“Yeah, not easy–but not easy for everyone. (I’m) gonna try to continue fighting through this.”

Medvedev wasn’t in much of a fighting mood after dropping the second set to Ivashka, his first after winning 18 sets in a row dating back to the Doha quarterfinals. The 27-year-old threatened to be as slow taking a bathroom break as the speed of the court.

“I’m gonna be as slow as this court is,” Medvedev told chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani. “So [I] can take 25 minutes. The court is slow, so I go slow. I take my time.”

Lahyani then told Medvedev to “be professional” and “accept” the conditions.

“I don’t accept this,” Medvedev responded. “They say on the fact sheet this is hard courts. This is not hard courts. They are lying.”

But how’s this for a fact sheet that the No. 5 seed will like a lot better? He is now 21-2 this season and up to second in the live 2023 race to Turin. His 16-match surge includes four victories over top-10 opponents, No. 1 Novak Djokovic among them (6-4, 6-4 in the Dubai semifinals).

If Medvedev can keep his head on straight, by Sunday night his streaks just might be up to 20 matches and four tournaments.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.