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Ruud and De Minaur discuss Medvedev’s crazy technique

Daniil Medvedev is known as “The Chess Master” on the UTS Tour, and for good reason. The Russian has an unorthodox approach to the game, both in his on-court tactics and the way he strikes the ball.

In a recent ‘All on the Table’ episode, Casper Ruud, Dominic Thiem and Alex de Minaur discussed Medvedev’s bizarre technique, and what it was like playing the former No 1 for the first time.

“Daniil was kind of a, not late bloomer, but he was later than Sascha [Zverev],” said Ruud to Thiem and de Minaur. “And then he just went mental and made it to the top 10 like out of nowhere.”

Ruud on young Medvedev: “I just want to puke”

The Ice Man continued sharing about Medvedev over dinner, describing what it was like the first time he saw The Chess Master play as a young man.

“I remember seeing him for the first time in Washington,” Ruud recalled. “I was practicing with another guy, a retired Russian player who knew Medvedev. He used to joke with him, and said to me, ‘Everytime I look at him, I just want to puke, because of the technique. It makes me want to vomit. His backhand looks like a joke, the technique.’ 

For de Minaur, the experience was far less entertaining.

De Minaur reveals why Medvedev still haunts him

The year is 2018. The Demon has just made his first ATP final, and he’s up against a relatively unknown Russian player with a weird technique.

“At this stage I’m thinking I’ve just got the best chance ever to win a title,” explains de Minaur, who faced Medvedev for the first time in the final of an ATP 250 event in Sydney. “We’re playing the first set and I’m playing really good tennis. Then it kind of all slips, and I end up losing 7-5 in the third.”

“I walk out of that match thinking, you know, this was the best chance I’m ever going to get to win a title. I proceeded to play him like four times that year, he beat me every single time, and he finished like top 10. I was like, ‘OK, he is very, very good. Better than what I thought.’”

What frustrated De Minaur then is what has seen Medvedev climb all the way to the top of the ATP rankings.

“He just baits you,” the Australian explained. “Now, and still, he’s evolving as a player. Early stages he was constantly baiting you to come forward and be aggressive on him. He would do these no paced little backhands and short balls. But his movement is incredible.”

Listen to the full ‘All on the Table’ episode on the UTS YouTube channel now.

Players in this article

The Demon

Alex de Minaur

The Ice Man

Casper Ruud


Dominic Thiem