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‘I have to follow the rules’

'I have to follow the rules' thumbnail

Daniil Medvedev has taken the positives from his Wimbledon ban, saying it has given him extra time to prepare for the North American hard swing.

World No. 1 Medvedev was the most high-profile player to miss Wimbledon following the ban of Russian and Belarusian players in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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He says he feels well prepared for the summer, which in recent years has been his strongest period of the season.

“You have to appreciate it because I definitely couldn’t change the decision of Wimbledon. I have to follow the rules,” he said at the Canadian Open in Montreal.

“If you focus on the negative part. For sure I wanted to play Wimbledon, I wanted to do well there. I always want to be in the biggest tournaments and try to play good.

“You can just stay in this circle of, ‘oh, my God, I was not able to be there’.

“I’ve made a very good preparation block for the US Open Series, which normally you cannot do because you play Wimbledon. I was able to do it. Feeling 100 per cent physically, mentally ready. Really happy with Los Cabos for sure with the title.”

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While Medvedev and his fellow Russians will be permitted to compete at events this summer, they will do so under a neutral flag.

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Medvedev says that does not bother him much.

“What matters is playing tennis. I really enjoy my job. Yeah, again, it’s about following the rules.

“The rule at one point was very clear that we have to play under neutral flag. Me, I’m still Daniil Medvedev. I still want to win big titles, win big matches, or small matches. It doesn’t change.”

Top seed Medvedev begins the defence of his Canadian Open on Wednesday.

He looks the strong favourite for the tournament with several big names missing, including world No. 2 Alexander Zverev, world No. 3 Rafael Nadal and world No. 6 Novak Djokovic.

Roger Federer is also absent as he continues his recovery from a third knee operation.

Reflecting on the fact Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are all missing, Medvedev said: “If the Big Three in the tournament, they’re the favourites straight away.

“And it’s easy because they win a lot of tournaments, almost every tournament they play in. So there is no surprise when we make them favourites.

“At the same time for me, it doesn’t change much if they’re here or not because my goal is to win the tournament. So no matter who I play in the final, if it’s going to be a qualifier or a wild card, lucky loser or a second seed, I just want to win the match. Then of course, it’s sometimes different sensations when you beat somebody from the Big Three.”

If Medvedev makes the final in Montreal he will guarantee he stays as world No. 1 until after the US Open.

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