PARIS, France, May 26 – As Daniil Medvedev eased into the French Open third round on Thursday, the carefree world number two admitted Thursday not much scared him in life — except for spiders, and tarantulas in particular.
Medvedev, who made the quarter-finals in 2021, defeated Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, and goes on to face another Serb in Miomir Kecmanovic, the 28th seed, for a place in the last 16.
Having lost in the opening round on his first four trips to Roland Garros, Medvedev is increasingly learning to appreciate the clay-court Grand Slam — and even his phobia of spiders is abating, somewhat.
“I’m a little bit scared of spiders, but I need to say I was much more scared when I was 10 or 12,” he said.
“When you grow up you need to sometimes face your fears. I never saw a tarantula, so I think I’m going to be scared if I see one.”
The US Open champion added: “I think fear is one of the toughest emotions in life, because a lot of mistakes we do in life is because we are scared of something.
“I try to work hard on not being scared of anything and just learning, even if I do mistakes, not being scared to repeat them but try not to repeat them. So to be honest, I’m not scared of much right now in my life.”
Medvedev briefly replaced Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings, taking over as number one for three weeks spanning February and March.
He could soon return to the summit despite being unable to play at Wimbledon next month.
Djokovic has 2,000 points to defend in Paris, and risks losing the same amount at Wimbledon after the decision to strip the tournament of ranking points over its ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
“Fear is actually what we can feel every day in tennis. You’re scared to lose. Sometimes you are scared what people are going to think about you,” said Medvedev.
“For example, I was number one in the world for (three) weeks… I’m not scared if people are going to say, ‘Well, yeah, it doesn’t matter, you were only (three) weeks.’
“But you can be scared of this. I think in every sport, especially the higher you get, the more you can have this situation.”
Medvedev held steady against Djere, who hit 39 winners Thursday but was undone by 68 unforced errors.