Daniil Medvedev

Podcast hosts Michael Davies and Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers sat down to talk to Daniil Medvedev about his early days, his rise to world #2 and his performance shoe – the AG-LT21 Ultra – as the tennis season continues.

You’re a spirited tennis player. Can you tell us how your inner tenacity and internal “demons” have helped you with the game?

I still don’t know. I was worse when I was a kid and then got a bit better when I came into the juniors. I tried then to not get into a fight with my opponent as I didn’t want these professional athletes to say who is this angry 18-year-old kid. As far as the inner demons, this is something I still have a lot to work on and I still have them. About three years ago I started working with a mental coach and this has helped improve my game significantly… this isn’t the only reason, but it’s definitely helped. I think even now it’s very important to have this balance – a fire or desire to win but it doesn’t move into something like smashing rackets.

Your tennis game has kept developing. You literally invent new angles for the flat ball and were once described as an “octopus on the courts”. Is this a compliment?

Yes I take it as a complement as a tennis player as it means I am tough to play against. I have my arms all over the tennis court, returning balls. My old tennis coach had a golden rule for tennis, how can you win a match? Her answer was you must return the ball just one more time more than your opponent… It’s what I have always kept in my mind.


You designed a signature performance shoe with Lacoste – the AG-LT21 Ultra. Can you tell us about it?

We worked really closely together and tried to make the best shoe possible, and it’s really amazing to be honest. It’s all about how fast you can be on the court and winning those matches!

Do you feel in a way that you channel Lacoste founder Rene Lacoste?

Totally, but it’s also not for me to decide. I feel like I have a great connection with the entire Lacoste family and I’m really proud to be a part of it.

What an amazing year 2021 has been for you. The Australian Open finals, you just won in Marseilles and now you are #2 in the world. Can you describe how you feel in this moment?

Thank you it’s a huge achievement first of all… even winning a grand slam is not enough to climb up the rankings anymore. I managed to do it and achieved some great results. Im really happy about it. I played some great monsters: Rafa, Roger. They are just unbelievable and I am always looking forward. When you achieve something you never had before, you just want to keep going and not stop – I just want to see my limits.

You broke through and made a name for yourself as a maverick underdog disruptor. How would you like to be seen now?

To be honest I never really thought about how I like to be seen. I just try to be myself. The higher you go, especially as you can see with the big three, do you have people who love you, people who admire you, who adore you and who can’t live without you. But you also have haters. It’s just normal. I just want to be myself and let the people decide. If someone thinks I am boring or if my style is boring; I can’t change for those people. I’ll just let those people decide.