Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev have played out an epic at the Monte Carlo Masters, with the Russian's antics appearing to perturb the German and resulting in a frosty handshake after the match. On a drama-filled day in Monte Carlo after Novak Djokovic crashed out, Medvedev overcame Zverev 3-6 7-5 7-6 in a late night finish.
However, Medvedev wasn't going to allow the intense match go by without showcasing his usual antics, having entered into a running battle with the crowd. Medvedev lost the first set, with Zverev producing some of the form that took him to the Roland Garros semi-final in 2022.
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Medvedev appeared set to crash out with Zverev serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but the Russian managed to break and rattle off three games to level the score. This saw the Russian attempt to quell the crowd as he gestured for them to be quiet after the comeback.
"Just playing the part of the villain pretty well," the commentator said of Medvedev's antics. The time had ticked past 11pm as Medvedev and Zverev took each other to a tiebreak in the battle of nerves.
Zverev earned two match points - one after a fortunate net bounce - which infuriated Medvedev as he lashed the ball into the back wall. However, the Russian came up big on both points and managed to carve out a match point of his own.
And he didn't let the opportunity go to waste as he came to the net and finished off the German in an absolutely epic encounter. The victory marked the first time since 2019 Medvedev had defeated a top 20 player on clay.
But the drama wasn't over as Medvedev went to put his hand out to Zverev for a warm embrace after the epic, but Zverev barely made eye contact as he brushed past the Russian. "Not a lot of love between the two," the commentator said after the moment.
Zverev could have been upset at Medvedev's antics in the second set or his opponent's attitude towards the crowd, which put him off his rhythm. Regardless, fans reacted to the bizarre scenes after the clash in Monte Carlo.
Medvedev also wrote 'cold' on the camera in his sign-off after the match. Many speculated on whether he was referring to the handshake or the weather during the match.
Daniil Medvedev. Incredible battle. Two match points saved. Cold handshake.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) April 13, 2023
Frosty handshake from zverev because he lost so wasn't in the mood
Nothing happened at Indian wells tbh
— sunshine. (@crazyheadimp) April 13, 2023
how was the handshake between Medvedev and Zverev? pic.twitter.com/qzgAI34LQk
— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) April 13, 2023
Sore loser Zverev with the cold handshake 🤮 #RolexMCMasters
— Suzanne Knapen (@suus21) April 13, 2023
There was Medvedevs unsportsmanlike behaviour on court in order to distract Zverev. It worked unfortunately. Absolutely understandable cold handshake. And Medvedev continued with unsportsmanlike comments in the on court interview afterwords. Shameful, pathetic behaviour by Medved
— Sherlock's (@Sherloc94663469) April 13, 2023
I will always love Daniil Medvedev.
He’s the jokester sitting in the back of the class.
He can be the good guy, but he can also be the villain.
He’s whoever you want him to be 🤫🐙
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 13, 2023
What’s that you say?
Late night tennis in Monte Carlo, Medvedev fighting back and shushing the crowd?
I’m so in. 🍿🍿🍿 pic.twitter.com/ByrYko7FCA
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) April 13, 2023
That was a *frosty* handshake between Medvedev and Zverev. Whew.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) April 13, 2023
Daniil Medvedev's unusual antics in Monte Carlo
Medvedev was also up to his usual antics during the game, which could have frustrated Zverev. Moments before the German was serving for the match, at the change of ends, Medvedev walked past the net and pulled out the singles post.
The move was truly bizarre and prompted the chair umpire to jump down off his platform and question Medvedev's reasoning behind the silly outburst. Whether Medvedev was just showing his frustration, or trying to distract his opponent, the moment was unique.
Medvedev will now take on Holger Rune in the quarter-final as he looks to win his first ever clay court Masters event.
Elsewhere, Djokovic was left fuming at the chair umpire and booed by the crowd after a controversial call went against him in his shock loss to Lorenzo Musetti on Thursday. The World No.1 was dumped out of the clay-court tournament by his Italian opponent, going down 6-4 5-7 4-6.
Medvedev doing Medvedev things.
Lashing the odd ball into the backstop. Breaking Zverev as he served for the match, then levelling at 3-6, 7-5. Taking on the crowd. Oh, and discarding a singles stick.
Whatever works, right?#MonteCarloMasters #Medvedev
— LoveGameTennis 🎾 (@LoveGame_Tennis) April 13, 2023
Djokovic suffered a surprise loss in the second round - ending his quest for a record-extending 39th Masters 1000 trophy. The match didn't come without controversy, after Djokovic was dudded by a brutal umpiring mistake in the second set.
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