Medvedev fears ‘pain for the rest of my life’ as star backs up Djokovic rant

Daniil Medvedev watches Formula 1 during Wimbledon final

Daniil Medvedev has lodged a fresh complaint about the size of the tennis balls on the ATP Tour after his win in the Vienna Open quarter-finals. Novak Djokovic has aired similar concerns, striking out at the sport’s governing body for failing to prioritise matters of player welfare.

Medvedev has been on the comeback trail since crashing out of the Shanghai Masters in the second round earlier this month, and three wins from three in Austria has punched his ticket to the semi-finals.

French teenager Arthur Fils, Wimbledon semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov and eighth seed Karen Khachanov were all seen off by Medvedev, who faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in a mouth-watering match-up on Saturday.

But not everything is going well for the Russian, who is complaining of shoulder pain and wants the ATP to listen to players over tennis ball concerns.

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“You hit the ball ten times and you have the feeling that every time it becomes bigger, bigger and bigger,” he said. “It swells a lot. I don’t want to feel shoulder pain for the rest of my life. I hope a solution can be found.”

Medvedev is not the only player putting pressure on the ATP to make changes. Earlier this month, 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic labelled the governing body’s failure to engage ‘incomprehensible’.

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“There is certainly a connection between frequent injuries of the wrist, elbow, and shoulder with ball changes,” he explained. “Sometimes that change of balls happens three times in three weeks depending on where we play, and it affects the health of the players and the joints themselves.

“In that sense, I support the players complaining and asking the ATP to find a way to resolve it. They have to find a solution. I didn’t see that the ATP issued any statement regarding the players’ complaints, and these are things that are incomprehensible to me.

“I don’t understand why there is silence from their side. I hope they will realise that there simply must be direct communication. Silence will not change anything.”

Djokovic has been out of action since beating Medvedev in September’s US Open final, but the Serb will be back on the court next week at the Paris Masters.

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