Daniil Medvedev adds former rival to his coaching staff

Daniil Medvedev will work with Gilles Simon

by Jovica Ilic
Daniil Medvedev adds former rival to his coaching staff
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev added former world no. 6 Gilles Simon to his coaching staff. Medvedev and Simon will embrace at least ten weeks together this season, with Gilles Cervara remaining the leading coach. Simon will try to further improve Medvedev's impressive tactical skills, known himself as one of the greatest counterpunchers in the game.

Like Gilles in his days, Daniil is one of the most formidable rivals to battle against, requiring everything from the player on the other side of the net. Interestingly, the Frenchman has a positive score against the Russian, beating him three times in four encounters.

They battled in Lyon 2017, with Simon scoring a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 victory. The youngster fought well, prevailing in the second set before losing ground in the decider.

Daniil Medvedev, Queens 2019© Alex Morton / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

They met in the Queen's semi-final two years later, with the Frenchman scoring a tight 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory in two hours and 37 minutes.

The veteran saved six out of eight break points and grabbed four breaks to emerge at the top against the rival who struggled with a back injury. It was a massive battle on the fastest surface, including a 40-shot exchange!

Gilles recovered after the opener and toppled Daniil in the next two to advance into the final. Two rivals played in Marseille in February 2020, and the home player scored a dominant 6-4, 6-0 victory in 67 minutes in the quarter-final.

Gilles clinched 11 of the final 12 games, leaving his rival behind and celebrating his 34th top-10 win.

Daniil Medvedev will work with Gilles Simon from Indian Wells.

Medvedev took only seven points on the return, four in the first game of the match when he scored an early break.

Simon claimed 55% of the return points and delivered five breaks, dominating set number two and sailing into the last four. Their last encounter came on grass in s-Hertogenbosch two years ago, with Medvedev beating Simon for the first time.

The Russian ousted the Frenchman 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 53 minutes, saving five out of six break points and sealing the deal with three breaks on his tally.

Gilles Simon, Queens 2019© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

In February 2022, Simon acknowledged Medvedev as an interested player whose style he loved to watch.

What many people said about him in the past, Gilles reflected on Daniil, calling him a chess player who reads the next moves and constructs the points nicely. Simon praised Medvedev's authenticity and called him a genius. Now, Gilles will have a chance to impact Daniil's game, knowing it well and preparing the right improvements.

The Russian almost claimed his second Major title in Melbourne in January, leading two sets to love against Jannik Sinner in the final before falling in five sets, experiencing another setback in the Major finals.

Daniil Medvedev Gilles Simon