Daniil Medvedev dismisses Elena Rybakina, Caroline Garcia format criticism in Madrid

Medvedev doesn't agree with Rybakina and Garcia that the new two-week format in Madrid and Rome is bad for the game.

by Dzevad Mesic
Daniil Medvedev dismisses Elena Rybakina, Caroline Garcia format criticism in Madrid
© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Daniil Medvedev doesn't agree with the criticism of the new two-week format introduced in Madrid and Rome as the 2021 US Open champion thinks it is actually a great thing that can only minimize injuries and help top players perform better on the biggest stage.

Starting this year, both clay Masters and WTA 1000 tournaments - Madrid and Rome - are taking place over two weeks. 

But in Madrid, a couple of big names questioned the newly-introduced format and the logic and sense behind it. Most notably, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina said the game is going in "the opposite direction" with these changes and that these things are not benefiting players at all. Also, Rybakina name-dropped Ashleigh Barty and appeared to warn the WTA that more cases of top stars retiring early could follow in the future if some things keep happening.

Caroline Garcia, the 2022 WTA Finals champion, also criticized the two-week format, saying that "everything goes slowly" and that she has yet to find someone who thinks this is a good idea. 

But ATP former world No. 1 Medvedev - who retired injured in his Madrid quarterfinal match - is all in for the two-week format and thinks it can only decrease the risk of players getting injured since they have a day off and overall more time to rest during the tournament.

"If we use logic it should be the other way around, because you have days of rest. Personally, I do like this two-week format. It's not two weeks, it's a week and a half," Medvedev said.

"I like it when there are days of rest, and I think that the format gives more importance to these tournaments: when you get to the Tour you know that you have to do well in these Masters and choose the variety of tournaments wisely. Personally, I like it, and I don't think that injuries come because of it. this format."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Medvedev on his adductor injury

On Thursday, Medvedev took on the court to play his Madrid quartefinal match against Jiri Lehecka. Up 3-2 in the first set, Medvedev was forced to leave the court for an off-court medical timeout. 

When Medvedev returned to the court, he resumed play but his movement was impacted and he looked concern. After Lehecka claimed a break ninth game and served out for the first set in the following game, Medvedev decided to retire.

After retiring from the match, Medvedev explained what exactly happened out there and why he ultimately decided to end the match.

"I don't know if I felt it on the return or on the dropshot, but when I ran, I wanted to run faster and faster during the movement, and suddenly felt my hip, like, kind of blocked. And I couldn't sprint like when you strain a muscle probably or have a spasm, which is very tough to know which of the two," Medvedev explained. 

"So then working with the physio, and then asked him if I could make it worse. He said if it's a tear, then yes. If it's a spasm, no. I tried to go to play, and my mind was not letting me go full, so at the end of the set, I was, like, if I want to continue, I just try to sprint to the net. If I don't feel anything, I try to go a little bit more full and see how it goes. When I sprinted, I felt pain. So I was, like, no need to continue."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Medvedev admits he is a doubt for the Rome Masters 

The apparent adductor injury didn't come at a good time for Medvedev as the Rome Masters is starting Wednesday, May 8th. With just a few days left before the tournament starts, Medvedev can rest a bit and get some treatment but it is still not much time to treat an injury. 

After retiring against Lehecka, Medvedev acknowledged his Rome participation was in a doubt but also noted he would first have to do some tests and see where he was before making any final decisions. 

"Right now, yes, without a doubt. I need to see the pictures and talk to my team. It would be great to be able to come back after winning the title last year, but I need to see what injury I have, because right now I have no idea if It is something very serious, barely serious or not at all serious," Medvedev said.

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

If Medvedev is not able to play Rome, that would be extremely disappointing since he won his first clay title at Foro Italico last year. 

Daniil Medvedev Elena Rybakina Caroline Garcia