After finding an ally in Aryna Sabalenka to support grapefruit ball claim, Daniil Medvedev declares post-Beijing aspirations

In 2014, Rafael Nadal complained that the ball used in the China Open was so bad that if you throw the ball on the floor, the bounce goes everywhere. Nine years later, at the 2023 China Open, Daniil Medvedev, after his win against Ugo Humbert in the quarterfinal, expressed his disappointment with the China Open ball, calling it a grapefruit.

Aryna Sabalenka, after defeating Katie Boutler 7-5, 7-6, confirmed that the balls used in Beijing aren’t perfect, but added that she has no issues with them since she is doing pretty well; however, Daniil Medvedev lost to Jannik Sinner in the men single China Open final.

Sabalenka backs Medvedev’s grapefruit analogy in Beijing

Daniil Medvedev earlier said that the balls used in Beijing were very low quality “As soon as you play some shots with them, they go very big and fluffy. It becomes like a grapefruit.” Aryna Sabalenka, after defeating Katie Boutler 7-5, 7-6 confirmed that the balls used in Beijing aren’t perfect but added that she has no issues with them since she is doing pretty well.

“Yeah, that’s actually true. Like after couple of games, I cannot imagine what’s happening with the men’s game because the rallies are longer and the ball’s getting even bigger. Yeah, like today after couple of games, the balls were getting like heavier and bigger,” Sabalenka said via the Beijing Press.

Aryna Sabalenka via Daily Sabah

“Because of that, the game was getting slower. It’s tough. It’s actually tough conditions. I don’t know, but it seems to work good for me, so I’m like, It’s okay. No, I would prefer actually probably different balls for this surface, yeah,” Sabalenka added.

Aryna Sabalenka heads into the quarterfinals, defeating Jasmine Paolina 6-4, 7-6 in the round of 16, as she returns to China as the world no. 1.

Daniil Medvedev weighs in on post-Beijing target

Daniil Medvedev world no.3, after losing to Jannik Sinner in the final of the China Open in Beijing, said in a press conference, “I love Beijing, it’s a great tournament. I love China; I will probably go back in the future.”

“I think everyone is a bit tired. We are at the end of the season. At the same time, I know for sure that when I am in this form, reaching the finals and playing well, it is better not to lose this momentum.” said Daniil Medvedev.

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I will go to Shanghai and try to do my best. I think the balls are different, I don’t know if the pitches will be different, but I will need time to adapt, I haven’t seen the draw yet. I’m in good shape.” Daniil Medvedev added.

“Even today I felt that the match was very good, there was a great level of tennis. I had to do better if I wanted to win, but the level was excellent. I want to continue playing well this season. It’s not over yet, there are many points I can make. Now it’s time to go to Shanghai, give my best and hope to win the title,” Medvedev concluded.

As the 2023 Rolex Shanghai Masters begins, perhaps Daniil Medvedev will hope he restores his confidence after a painful loss to Jannik Sinner, a player he has never lost to in his entire career.

Victor Okechukwu

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