Alex Corretja has described Daniil Medvedev as a “genius” and Holger Rune as "explosive" - and thinks both will be tough to beat at the French Open.
Medvedev won the first clay title of his career in impressive fashion as he beat Rune in the Italian Open final at the weekend.
The result means that Medvedev, who once said he hated clay, will be the second seed for the French Open behind world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz.
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“He is unique,” said Eurosport expert Corretja about Medvedev.
“He is someone that you don't know what to think is on his mind because he is saying things when maybe he feels different things. I think in his mind he's playing with the mind of everyone else, with the opponent, with the crowds. I think he's a genius, honestly.
“He is just definitely someone who is so tough to beat. He now knows how to play different on clay. He's hitting that forehand much harder than before, and his backhand is always deep, but he is coming a little bit closer from the baseline. He defends very well.
“I'm sure that playing against him best of five is not going to be any easy. He has time to do different things and he's got the patience. You need to be there for many hours to beat him, so you need to play very well if you want to be the best of five.”
Medvedev said after his win in Rome that he is “feeling great” as he prepares for a shot at the French Open, where he made the quarter-finals in 2021 and fourth round last year.
He has produced almost all of his best career results on hard courts, but Corretja has been impressed with the way he has started to get more comfortable on clay.
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"I always thought that there was no reason why he couldn't play well because although maybe he doesn't have that big acceleration which is very important on clay, he likes to run and he likes to move.
“Maybe because his serve is good, but not as great as on hard courts, this is a factor, and also, sometimes because he plays so far back, his ball doesn't get through the court, as in other surfaces.
“But the confidence is there. He's been winning so many times this year, so many matches. So when you go on court, you feel like, ‘OK, why not? I can do that on clay as well’.
“I think he's more prepared and his mobility now, it changed a lot. And it's absolutely brilliant to see him the way he's adapting to these surfaces.”
Rune also looks to be approaching the tournament in strong form after making three clay finals over the last six weeks.
He is up to No. 6 in the world after reaching the Italian Open final and Corretja thinks the 20-year-old will be a tough player to beat in Paris.
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“He’s like a machine. He hits the ball hard. He works hard. He likes to win. He pushes himself to the limit. He's brave. He goes for it. And he's been playing supremely well. So he is going to be one of the contenders to do well at Roland-Garros.
“Of course, he's very young, but he showed already that he's not afraid of anything and he just wants to go with himself, with his personality, and he's very explosive.
“He's young and he's growing and he's learning how to deal with everything that goes around him. On the court he will learn when to spend energy on things or not, or maybe just go back a little bit and don't pay attention on certain things. I think he is going to be a tough opponent.
"He's playing finals of tournament. He's playing and winning different titles. That shows that he is extremely dangerous for opponents. And I'm sure he's someone tough to play against because he hits the ball hard from all sides, and that's never easy.
“Maybe it's a matter of time that he shows that he is ready and we have to wait to see if it's going to be at Roland-Garros or it can be a little bit later. But from what I saw from him, he's showing that he's going to be a tough, tough guy to beat in Paris.”
The French Open starts on May 28.
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Stream the 2023 French Open live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com
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