Former World No. 1 Carlos Moya, the current coach of Spain's Rafael Nadal, says Daniil Medvedev is like a wall and very difficult to outpower. Medvedev reached the final of the US Open in New York last year and stretched Nadal to five sets in a very tough match before the Spaniard was able to come through.
Speaking on Medvedev on Eurosport Players Cut, Moya says, “He is like a wall. You’re not used to playing guys like him that stay away from the baseline and a tall guy running. I mean, he’s such a good athlete and it’s very difficult to outpower him.
I think you have to change the pace, alternate a bit, play low balls, high balls. Make him move forward a little bit, slice. Try to mix it up very well, because if you just play hard and try to make winners, he’s a very tough player to beat.
“So, what I mean when I said that he changed his game in my opinion, is that he came to volley. After he was two sets down, he started to serve and volley, to go for his shots, try to shorten the points. I think that worked for him.
In the 5th set, he was 1/0 15-40, if I’m not wrong. So, I don’t know what could have happened if Rafa could not hold his serve then. But yeah, he took us by surprise after those 2 sets to zero down. He changed his tactics and that shows how good he is”.
Moya says it was a great effort for Medvedev to make a comeback after being down two sets to love in the final. "After he (Nadal) won the first two sets, I thought: I think this is close to be over. I don’t think he’s going to be able to come back.
But it was amazing what happened after that. Rafa was two sets and a break up in the third set but he could not convert. And then he had break points to go and serve for the match and then things got really, really bad for Rafa.
But yeah, it was about convincing him that it is not easy to play a first Grand Slam final against a player that has played so many finals like Rafa. Experience for me was very important. But also, Rafa has the game to adapt and to change things and try things to hurt Daniil’s game.
But honestly, I think Medvedev changed his tactics completely when he was down and that took us a little bit by surprise”.