Astana Open semifinalist Medjedovic a man of many talents

02.10.2023    Views: 616
Source: KTF press-service

Ravi Ubha

When asked what he likes to do away from tennis, spending time with family and friends topped the list for Hamad Medjedovic. 

His sister has three children about toddler age and the 20-year-old admits to changing a diaper or two. 

«Don’t tell anyone,» he laughed. «No, I’m just kiddng.» 

So is it easier to deliver an ace or change a nappy? 

«Definitely hit an ace,» he laughed again. 

It’s understandable.

The Serb’s booming serve is clicking at the Astana Open, leaving Medjedovic one win away from cracking the Top 100 in the live Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time. 

Ahead of his Monday semifinal against Sebastian Korda — the second of his ATP Tour career following Gstaad in July — the wildcard has yet to be broken on the indoor hard courts at the National Tennis Center. 

«I think it’s going to be super good and super nice if I win and be Top 100 but it’s just, ‘Focus on the match,’» said Medjedovic, who has ousted Laslo Djere, Alexander Shevchenko and Jiri Lehecka in Astana. «I look at it as a normal match, and I’ll be happy if I win.»

Being more focused has played a pivotal role in Medjedovic’s rise from No. 255 at the start of the year, he said. 

So has working on various strokes with coach and former world No. 12, Viktor Troicki. 

«He went through it all during his career,» said Medjedovic. «And it’s helping me for sure. He’s calming me down whenever I’m nervous.

«We’ve worked a lot on my focus on the court because I didn’t have it so much. I was losing my focus constantly. We also did a lot of physical preparation. And still we haven’t hit the goal. 

«I think there’s a lot of places that I can get better on. We worked a lot on my return. I think that’s where I improved the most. My backhand is stable.»

Even the serve, never lacking pace, is better. 

«I always had the power but I wasn’t so constant,» he said. «Once we improved the focus, the serve was a lot more constant.» 

Troicki already called his pupil’s serve «one of the best out there.» 

He isn’t surprised by Medjedovic’s quick ascent in the rankings — and expects it to continue regardless of Monday’s outcome.  

«I always believed in his game since we started working together,» said Troicki. «I saw huge potential in him. He had all the big tools, big weapons. He was just not using them as much. He didn’t believe in them.

«Not surprised when he plays big players that he is winning. I’m sure this is just the start. I think his time is just ahead of him. He needed some time to figure things out, get everything adjusted.

«But now he is on the way up and I’m just waiting until he reaches the Top 30 and Top 20. I hope it’s going to be soon.»

Adrian Mannarino plays Sebastian Ofner in Monday’s other semifinal in another first-time meeting.

Both are coming off eventful quarterfinal victories.

Mannarino — the 2020 Astana finalist — saved 11 set points in the second set of a 6-1, 7-6 (6) win over Austrian qualifier Jurij Rodionov, while Ofner overcame «good friend» and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem for the first time in four attempts. Two more Austrians.

The 27-year-old Ofner moved into the Top 50 in the live rankings for the first time.

And he is appearing in his first tour-level semifinal since Kitzbuhel in 2017.

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