"I’m gonna play a few tournaments this year left and I’m gonna try to give my best and try to win them," says US Open champion.
By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, October 7, 2021

A feeding frenzy followed Daniil Medvedev's dynamic surge to his maiden major title at the US Open.

The second-ranked Russian has been surprised by the response he's received in American restaurants: fans want to pay for his meal to celebrate his historic Flushing Meadows run that denied world No. 1 Novak Djokovic the calendar Grand Slam.

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"A lot of people try to—I don’t know why—try to pay for me in the restaurants and sometimes I don’t manage [to beat them to the check]," Medvedev told the media at Indian Wells. "But usually of course I try to refuse it because I don’t see why to accept it from people I don’t know but sometimes the waiter comes and says: 'You can’t pay anything more because it’s already been paid.'

"That’s pretty funny, but strange in a way.”

Complimentary meals haven't diminished Medvedev's appetite for success—the top seed at this week's BNP Paribas Open says he's still hungry for success.

"I’m still young. Of course it was a big goal for me, a big dream come true [to win a Grand Slam title]," Medvedev said. "But you know I’m still here in Indian Wells. Actually, I haven’t left USA after US Open because I knew I had Indian Wells and Laver Cup coming so if I wanted to feel good physically, to go back to Europe was not a good choice since I went far in the US Open."

Dominic Thiem, who made history as the first man in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in the US Open final and win the title last year, conceded he struggled to regain the fire after mastering his first major in New York. Medvedev, who spent part of last week training at UCLA as he takes aim at a second Masters 1000 crown in the desert, says he's pumped to play and finish the season strong as he did last year sweeping 10 consecutive matches to capture the Paris Masters and ATP Finals titles in succession.

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After his US Open triumph, Medvedev dismissed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-0 in Laver Cup and says his goal is simple: try to win every tournament he plays for the rest of the season.

"I have motivation," Medvedev said. "I came here prepared. I was in Los Angeles for a week to try to bring my tennis up because that’s what I’m trying to do all the time with my coach.

"Of course we cannot know before the tournament what the result is gonna be, but again even if I lose second round here, nothing to do with the motivation. It’s gonna be because the opponent was better or I was not playing that good. I’m gonna play a few tournaments this year left for me and I’m gonna try to give my best and try to win them."

Photo credit: Tennis Australia