Daniil Medvedev: I was shaking when Roman Safiulin was in my draw in juniors

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev said 2021 was an amazing year for Russian tennis. 

Russia won the ATP Cup and Davis Cup Finals in 2021, while Medvedev captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. 

“Last year was amazing for Russian tennis in general…and I think that’s what can, again, help us a lot this week because everybody is expecting us to do well,” Medvedev said, per the ATP Cup website. “I mean, usually, you know, I like this kind of pressure. It makes you play better.”

Russia, which is playing without Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev, was drawn in Group B with Italy, France and Australia. 

“It’s never easy to start the season,” Medvedev added. “Out of three matches only one team comes out of the group, so you need to win as many matches as possible. Ask yourself as few questions as possible, just try to win matches.”

Medvedev speaks positively of teammate Roman Safiulin

“He was super tough to beat in juniors. I don’t think we’ve ever played as professionals, but when I knew that Roman was in my draw in juniors, I was shaking. We played a lot of finals, semi-finals, a lot of matches, some were like three-hour, three-set matches. A lot of fun,” Medvedev said. 

Medvedev has had some good practices with Safiulin and he is hoping to win all three of his singles matches at the ATP Cup.

“I practiced two times with Roman these last few days,” Medvedev said. “We actually played quite well, trying to talk our way through. Of course, it’s never easy. I think what is good that we are going to have three opportunities.

“I feel a lot of confidence coming into this year, and I am going to play really strong guys already in the group stage. I just want to try to win my match and get the point for the team.”