Daniil Medvedev opened up about his sudden retirement against Novak Djokovic at last month’s Astana Open, explaining his side of the story. The former world No. 1 went on to express his disappointment and regret at being forced to retire as he believed he was playing some of his best tennis of the season that week.
Medvedev and Djokovic were locked at one set apiece in their semifinal match of the tournament in Kazakhstan before Medvedev just walked to the net after losing the second set tiebreak and forfeited the match. After the match, he revealed that he did not want to risk a long injury layoff, which prompted him to retire without trying harder.
He reiterated the same during a recent interview with Tennis Channel, before suggesting that the fact that he could not translate his best tennis of the season into a victory due to injury added to his disappointment.
“It was a little bit disappointing also (because) I played one of the best tennis all year in Astana,” Daniil Medvedev said.
The Russian revealed that the adductor injury first surfaced at the start of the second set tiebreak. He was already leading Djokovic by a set and had the chance to close out the match by winning the second set tiebreak. While he immediately knew that he would not be able to play the final even if he had won the second set and thus the semifinal match, he did not retire before the end of the tiebreak as the ATP Finals qualification scenario played on his mind.
Medvedev did not want to disappoint the crowd by being a no-show for the final, but winning the semifinal would have given him more ranking points and improved his chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals.
“That was actually very tough because I could still win it, in a way that I didn’t have match point but we were still at 6-6. I knew that if I was going to win the tiebreak, I’m not going to be able to play the final, which is very bad for the crowd and everybody but I would get some points to get to Turin, which at this moment was not confirmed…So I just started to hit some drop shots and I was like, ‘Well okay, if I win it, I win it’,” Medvedev expressed.