Like many a Muscovite, together with Rublev, Medvedev grew up taking part in a lot of the yr in quick indoor circumstances.
“It was not even hardcourts — it was more like indoor ice,” Rublev mentioned with amusing on Saturday. “You touch the ball and the ball is like a rocket. You hit one ball and the ball is going so fast, even when you are 6 years old. In Moscow, there is actually plenty of clay, but the problem is there’s not much summer, only two or three months, so you don’t get much time to play on it.”
Rublev, the No. 7 seed and lengthy based mostly in Spain, has had extra constant outcomes on clay on the professional stage and was a quarterfinalist on the French Open in 2020 and a finalist on the Monte Carlo Open final yr. His forehand, hit with heavy topspin and main racket-head velocity, matches the standard imaginative and prescient of a clay-courter far more than Medvedev’s together with his comparatively flat strokes.
But it is vitally tempting to agree with Rublev that Medvedev’s greatest impediment on clay is between the ears.
“He didn’t beat Djokovic in Monte Carlo for nothing,” Rublev mentioned in an interview, recalling a 2019 upset. “So, I think it’s more about him, that he put this in his head, than it is about the clay. And we can all see now that he has won all the matches here quite easy, beating good players.”
Still, the trail doesn’t get smoother. Medvedev is in a extra welcoming neighborhood than the highest half of the draw, however it’s nonetheless a tough neighborhood with Rublev, Jannik Sinner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud all on the prowl.
Next up for Medvedev: the No. 20 seed Marin Cilic, who overwhelmed a weary Gilles Simon, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, on Saturday within the 37-year-old Simon’s ultimate French Open match (he’ll retire at yr’s finish). Simon, one of many cleanest hitters and deeper thinkers on tour, gave an glorious abstract of why it is going to quickly be time to bid adieu.