Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud bemoan small courts – ‘You feel sort of like a little in a cage’


Hall of Fame
From https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/daniil-medvedev-casper-ruud-bemoan-105320404.html


Players who prefer to play from deep behind the baseline are disadvantaged by smaller courts on the ATP Tour, according to Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud although both acknowledge it is part and parcel of the game.

Following his fourth-round defeat to Aslan Karatsev at the Madrid Open, Medvedev had a grumble about the size of the Arantxa Sanchez Stadium as he felt it had an impact on his game as he didn’t have too much space to counter his opponent’s big serve.

Up next is the Italian Open and the courts at Foro Italico are likely to be give the deep standing players a bit more space, but Medvedev was again asked for his thoughts on the issue.

“The thing is when I talk to my coach after the match to try to see what I could have done better, how was the match, I thought it was really good match, where Aslan played good, which was impressive. The only thing we agreed on my coach was disappointing, I don’t know how the match would go if I can be further on return,” he said.

“On clay is even more important for me than on hard courts because in hard courts I can adapt. I like hard courts. In Doha was really small court. I managed to win it.

“On clay court, especially with Aslan who has really heavy serve, because I couldn’t go further, I had all the balls a little bit high, so I couldn’t put power on him. Against him, if you don’t put power, you get a winner straightaway. On his serve I didn’t have many opportunities, and that was really disappointing.”

Of course, not all tournaments have the space and money to have big courts and Medvedev understands that.

He added: “From one point of view I understand probably all the tournaments in the world cannot make all the match courts as big as I want or some other players want. At the same time it’s a disadvantage.

“Playing Karatsev on the second court, I had a disadvantage. Didn’t allow me to play my 100% tennis, even if I was probably at 98%. That’s disappointing because it was same, practice courts are always smaller.”

The world No 3 enjoyed a solid training session with Taylor Fritz in Rome on Tuesday and admitted he had flashback of Madrid.

“Today I practiced with Fritz. There were some good shots from him. I was touching the fence, so I lost the point because I touched the fence. I was straightaway thinking about Madrid.

“Yeah, I would love every tennis court to be 10 metres large and 10 metres wide, but I also understand it’s not possible. Every time I’m not going to have my space on the return, I’m going to be disappointed because I cannot play my best tennis.”

Ruud is another player who is not at his best when courts are small as he can’t stand deep to counter the power hitters as he backed up Medvedev’s concerns.

“Some courts on tour can be smaller or larger than others, not stadium-wise, but on length behind the baseline. So there are a couple of courts that to me can be a little bit small sometimes,” the Norwegian said.

“Just speaking my honesty here, you look at maybe myself or a player like Daniil Medvedev, for example, and last week in Madrid when we played, centre court is obviously very big in Madrid, for example, but Court No 2, if you look at where me and Daniil is returning, we’re very close to the line umpire. It can be a little tricky sometimes.”

“You feel like you can’t hit your ball when you have the line umpire and all these things like just half a meter behind you. You feel sort of like a little in a cage kind of way.

“Again, it’s sort of our own fault because we choose to stay that far back. I think both of us feel when we stay back or when I stay back, I win more points than when I am staying in. That’s why we do it. Some players like to stay no matter what.”

READ MORE: Why Daniil Medvedev may never solve clay court demons after Madrid Open exit
The problem is not about returning from far back if you can, the problem is refusing to adapt and evolve as a player, so that you could have several options and choose between them, refusing to take risks which will make you feel uncomfortable at first but could turn you into a greater player in the future. But at the same time if they got to where they are now just playing one way them not wanting to change is understandable. Tells you that actual great players accepting to acknowledge their weaknesses and work on it to get even better are pretty rare.


That was a really stupid idea, i wonder what was going in the head of the manager of that tournament to have the moronic idea of putting a huge camera where the players are running around. Well, a first and last experience is necessary for people to remember why bad ideas don't work in reality.


New User
The funny thing is that IMO Ruud plays much better tennis when steps up closer to the baseline, both on ROS and in rallies, but for some reason he clings to this tactic of standing as far back as possible. He needs to stop trying to play like Nadal, no matter how big of a fan he is.


Where do you draw the line though? Standing at the back of the fence isn't a skill, it's simply making it easier for these players to return serves as it gives them more time to take a full swing at the return. I can't say I feel sorry for him as he already has a major reach advantage compared to most players and can always develop better return techniques if he's having a difficult time breaking serve in tighter courts. It all balances out at the end of the day as every player has to deal with the same conditions.


Personally, I perceive the different sizes of tennis courts as unfair, meaning the space outside the baselines and sidelines. Courts should all be the same size, but not as big as in central stadiums. Medvedev whimpers.


I thought all tennis courts have the same standard dimension?
The inner courts (bounded by lines) are the same size, but the space outside the lines varies in size. The side courts are not as big as the courts in the big arenas.


Bionic Poster
Hey Medvedev and Ruud, maybe try not returning from a gazillion miles behind the baseline.


Maybe Med needs to adjust his ridiculous ROS position, which is essentially on Mars. If he had the talent of a Fed or Agassi, he could return serve on the baseline and not need unlimited room just to return a serve.
Everybody does things differently. Nadal, a fair player himself, returns from way back.


Yeah I mean it’s a similar problem in the premier league, lots of players have issues with certain pitches, like their size and how far away they are from the stands.


New User
Maybe Med needs to adjust his ridiculous ROS position, which is essentially on Mars. If he had the talent of a Fed or Agassi, he could return serve on the baseline and not need unlimited room just to return a serve.
Surely it would make sense for him to experiment and try standing closer to the baseline, maybe he's tried and it just doesn't work.


They kind of are, but that's one of the very few things left in tennis that forces a player to do something different.

Also, I'm pretty sure in Rome they have a comparatively smaller runback than the other major clay courts, and he went and won it, so suck it up.