Daniil Medvedev said he hopes to “give something back” after being “touched” by the reception he received on his return to Wimbledon.
Russian Medvedev was unable to play the Grand Slam last year due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
For his first match back he was drawn to face British player Arthur Fery on Court One.
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While Medvedev might have been expecting a partisan crowd, he said he was surprised by the reaction he got.
“For different reasons it could be possible that the reception would not be as great as it was,” he said after winning in three sets.
“We came in at the same time with Arthur, so they were cheering. I was like, ‘For him? For both? How is it?’
“Then at one moment I think either when we went to the referee or something, I was kind of the first one, or I was the second one to come, and they were cheering me on in a way. I was like, ‘OK, that’s surprising’.
“During the match, I felt like that’s normal, they really tried to help Arthur, to pump him up and something…there was zero negative energy that I felt.
“I never had such a good reception at Wimbledon. It’s much better than I had before. So that’s great. I’m going to try to give them back, if I can say like this. Hopefully I can.”
Asked what ‘giving back’ means, Medvedev added: “Not getting crazy and let’s say – how can I explain it – not being probably a selfish kid on the court. Sometimes I can be.
“I’m going to try to give back people here in Wimbledon and just try to show some good tennis. Even if I don’t, leave the court and finish the tournament.”
Medvedev is playing Wimbledon for a fourth time.
His best performance was making the fourth round in 2021. He next plays Adrian Mannarino, who beat Medvedev on grass last month, or Alexander Shevchenko.
“The reception today, what I felt, I don’t feel it that often. There are some cities and some places where I felt it. But it’s not every time. I was really touched by it. I’m going to remember it like for the next times.
“You never know who I’m going to play, maybe the reception is going to be different, but I’m still going to remember it. I’m going to try to convince myself to give back. That’s how I am.
“I can be really even maybe rude when I think – and sometimes we think wrong – when I think someone is not fair to me, this can happen in everyday life. If I cross someone and he said, ‘Hi’, I would say, ‘Hi, how are you?’
“But if he says, ‘You don’t know how to play tennis’, I would say, ‘Well, you don’t know how to play tennis either’, or something like this. So yeah.”
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