Daniil Medvedev is more than happy to pick up the seeded slack at this week’s Miami Masters, with Russia’s new ATP No. 2 not bothered by pullouts from fellow Top 10 rivals.
The first Masters 1000 of the season is missing No. 1 Novak Djokovic, third-ranked Rafael Nadal and US Open winner Dominic Thiem – not to mention Roger Federer.
All are staying away either for clay training or in the case of Djokovic, simply avoiding the bureaucratic hassles that come with entry to the US in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s every man for himself as far as Medvedev is concerned.
“I think everybody would have different reasons (for missing the event)… somebody would love to prepare more on clay.
“It’s true this year without Indian Wells, you just come to USA for one tournament. You need to come one week in advance for the jet lag and everything.
“It’s not easy, but hard court is my preference, it’s a Masters 1000. I didn’t have any doubt coming here.”
The 25-year-old who has two Grand Slam finals on his resume, admitted that lowered prize money – around 60 per cent in Miami’s case – could also be a contributing factor in the tournament where more than 30 of the Top 100 men are missing.
“It’s tough to say, Some tournaments are for sure losing money, some of them maybe not, we don’t know.
“They’ve started percentage-wise to distribute more prize money in the first rounds, so the winner gets less. That’s also the choice.
“But as tennis players, the more prize money the better.”
Medvedev said that he pays little attention to ranking points, preferring to let his results speak to his ranking.
“I don’t really think about points too much, I feel ranking reflects on your results.
“The more big titles you win, the further you go in Grand Slams, the better your ranking will be.
“Definitely being the top seed for the first time in a Masters event, being No. 2 in the world, I’m enjoying the moment.
“I don’t feel the pressure except for the pressure that I like to win matches and I want to win every tournament I play.
“This pressure always stays with me. But I feel like it’s a good, competitive pressure. I know what I have to do.
“If I play good, I have my chances to win the tournament. That’s the most important.”