Daniil Medvedev began 2023 after a somewhat unsuccessful 2022 season by his extremely high standards. He failed to win a title at Grand Slam or Masters 1000 level event and finished with his lowest year-end ranking since 2018. How did the 2021 US Open champion fare in 2023? This article gives an overview of Medvedev’s season.
Daniil Medvedev 2023 Season Review
Medvedev started slowly at the Grand Slams in 2023. Last year’s runner-up at the Australian Open suffered a shock third-round exit in Melbourne. He lost out in straight sets to Sebastian Korda 6-7 3-6 6-7. The six-time Masters champion fared even worse at the French Open. Although clay is the Russian’s least favourite surface, he was an overwhelming favourite against Thiago Seyboth Wild in the first round, who had never previously won a Grand Slam match. However, he conspired to lose 6-7 7-6 6-2 3-6 4-6 to the Brazilian.
Medvedev had a much better run at Wimbledon. He dropped just one set in four victories against Arthur Fery, Adrian Mannarino, Marton Fucsovics, and Jiri Lehecka. The 2020 ATP Finals champion then had an epic battle against Christopher Eubanks, but it was one Medvedev overcame, with a 6-4 1-6 4-6 7-6 6-1 win seeing him into a maiden Wimbledon semifinal. Unfortunately, he never came close to troubling Carlos Alcaraz, and bowed out with a 3-6 3-6 3-6 loss in the semis.
Medvedev got his revenge less than two months later at the US Open. There was much talk in the media about a repeat of the epic Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz at Flushing Meadows, but Medvedev had other ideas. He met Alcaraz in the semifinal once again, after only dropping two sets in his previous five matches. The former champion in New York then produced one of the best performances of his career to defeat the Spaniard 7-6 6-1 3-6 6-3. That set up a repeat of the 2021 final against Djokovic, but the Serbian was too strong on this occasion and won the final in straight sets to claim a 24th Grand Slam.
Masters 1000 Events
Medvedev broke new ground at Masters 1000 level in 2023. He won his first ever title on clay at the Rome Masters, with an unexpected run to win the trophy. After winning his opening two rounds, the 27-year-old defeated the 2017 Rome champion Alexander Zverev 6-2 7-6 to progress to the quarterfinals. Medvedev then swept aside German opponent Yannick Hanfmann before playing even better in the semifinal against 2022 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas to triumph in straight sets once more. The five-time Grand Slam finalist completed his glorious run with a 7-5 7-5 victory against Holger Rune to claim the title. Medvedev has been vocal in the past about his disdain for clay courts, which made his win in Rome one of the most unexpected moments of 2023.
Medvedev also secured a maiden title in Miami. He did not drop a set on the way to the semifinal. Compatriot Karen Khachanov then provided a stern test in a 7-6 3-6 6-3 triumph. The 20-time ATP title winner defeated Jannik Sinner for a sixth consecutive time in the final to lift the trophy in Miami.
The nine-time Masters 1000 finalist also reached the final in Indian Wells. His time in Indian Wells included a thrilling 6-7 7-6 7-5 victory over Alexander Zverev in the Round of 16, but was swept aside in the final in straight sets by Carlos Alcaraz.
Medvedev won three other titles in 2023, with all of these in February on hardcourts. Those successes came in Rotterdam against Sinner, Qatar against Andy Murray, and Dubai against Andrey Rublev. In addition, he reached two more finals in October on hardcourts. These came in Beijing and Vienna. However, he was thwarted on both occasions by Sinner, who won his first two matches against the Russian.
Finally, Medvedev reached the semifinal of the ATP Finals in Turin. Sinner was his nemesis once again, as the former winner of the event lost to the Italian for the third time in a row to end his season.
Medvedev’s 2023 was a significant improvement on 2022. The two Masters 1000 events he won were more then the previous year, and so were the five titles he managed in total. The only major frustration for the Russian was that he did not add to his Grand Slam tally. That will be his main goal in 2024, with the two hardcourt Grand Slams likely to be his best opportunities once again.
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports