'Pathetic': Daniil Medvedev at centre of 'vile' Aus Open drama
Daniil Medvedev has landed at the centre of an ugly Australian Open controversy during his semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday night.
The Russian fourth seed squared off against Tsitipsas on Rod Laver Arena for a chance to face eight-time champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday night's final at Melbourne Park.
Greek star Tsitipsas always enjoys strong support in Melbourne from his fanatical fan base and Friday night's showdown was no exception.
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However, things turned somewhat ugly when fans started booing Medvedev midway through the opening set.
The unsavoury scenes started after the Russian asked for a close serve of Tsitsipas' to be reviewed.
Fans inside Rod Laver Arena clearly didn't appreciate Medvedev's reaction and directed their anger at the fourth seed accordingly.
The Russian is no stranger to crowds booing him, with the 25-year-old famously suffering the same fate after flipping fans the middle finger at the 2019 US Open.
During that victory over Feliciano Lopez, he actually fed off the negative energy from the crowd, making headlines when he sarcastically clapped the jeering fans at the end of the match.
Many viewers on social media were quick to point out on Friday night against Tsitsipas that booing a man known to revel in being the pantomime villain perhaps wasn't the best idea for Tsitsipas' legion of fans.
Crowd antics divide viewers
However, many took to social media to express their disgust with the crowd antics at Melbourne Park.
The crowd is so vile. They're booing Medvedev for reviewing a close call.
— Praveen C (@whatupbiyaatch) February 19, 2021
I understand cheering loudly for a tennis player you like or booing for one who smashed a racquet or acts disrespectfully.. but booing for *being there* like they are Medvedev tonight at the #AusOpen? Is it really just the big Greek contingency at RLA?
— Sarah (@Sarah_Oestreich) February 19, 2021
They've already started booing Medvedev. That's usually not good news for his opponents
— Matthew Willis (@MattRacquet) February 19, 2021
This crowd is pathetic man Medvedev just wanted to see that ball landing again and this crowd start booing him😑
— சத்யா (எல் யு எச் ஜி) (@Sathyakris26) February 19, 2021
Why's the crowd booing Medvedev? Totally unnecessary. Just enjoy a good game, you losers! #AusOpen
— LORD BAE (@iamLordBae) February 19, 2021
Crowd really think Medvedev will be bothered by the booing? It makes me laugh 😅
— Elena. Bamos T 🐧🇦🇹 (@elenaclaudia22) February 19, 2021
The extremely pro-Tsitsipas, Greek-flag waving crowd at #AusOpen – literally booing Medvedev – might give him US Open 2019 flashbacks and we all know how that turned out!
— ZENIA D'CUNHA (@ZENIADCUNHA) February 19, 2021
Along with Djokovic, Medvedev is the player on tour who best feeds off negative reactions from the crowd. Booing him ain't going to achieve a thing. #AusOpen
— Cobra GV (@GoldenViews00) February 19, 2021
Remember at the US open when all the fans were booing the hell out of Medvedev and he thanked them and reached the final?
— Jaden Yuki (@ImSheikhMo) February 19, 2021
Medvedev struck the first decisive blow in the match after capitalising off his second break point in the fifth game.
The Russian and his Greek opponent engaged in several gruelling baseline rallies but invariably it was the ever-consistent Medvedev that came out on top.
Tsitsipas rarely threatened to cause trouble on Medvedev's serve but he fended off two set points in the 10th game of the opener to leave the Russian sweating.
The fourth seed squandered another set point chance with a rare double fault, before finally sealing the first set with a booming ace.
💧 WIPE-OUT 💧
Tsitsipas releases ALL his anger on the water bottle.
STREAM: https://t.co/TYsz5RZN3Z #9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/uZJhwKkm8n
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 19, 2021
Medvedev again broke Tsitsipas early in the second set and the 25-year-old tightened his grip on the match when he made it a double break in the seventh game.
Serving for the chance to take a two-sets-to-love lead, Medvedev didn't drop a point as another ace wrapped up the second stanza in emphatic style.
Tsitsipas tried to go toe-to-toe with Medvedev at the start of the third but the his opponent was a picture of relentless consistency.
The Greek star came out on top during one of their many epic baseline rallies but Medvedev had his foot on the throat of Tsitsipas when he broke the fifth seed in the opening game of the third.
The 25-year-old then served out his fifth love service game of the match to leave Tstisipas with a mountain to climb.
Tsitsipas did join rare company after coming back from two sets down to topple Rafael Nadal in an Australian Open quarter-final for the ages.
However, Friday night's showdown offered few glimmers of hope that the fifth seed could emulate those heroics.
Medvedev - played incredible tennis. He won the match by playing beautiful tennis. Point of the match .. pic.twitter.com/L38JVbek9s
— Anju (@Anju81813183) February 19, 2021
The World No.6 wasn't going down without a fight though and he staved off two break points before clinching a pulsating fifth game.
The crowd inside Rod Laver Arena let out an enormous roar in an attempt to spur on the Greek player and the noise intensified when he set up two break points the following game.
Tsitsipas dug deep and managed to take the second break point chance to get back on level terms at 3-3.
Suddenly, the odd error was creeping into Medvedev's game and his opponent - riding a wave of momentum - took the opportunity to capitalise.
The fifth seed finally edged ahead in the set to see his army of supporters rise off their seats in excitement.
At 0-30 down in the 10th game, Medvedev clawed his way back to hold serve, before setting up three break points in the following game.
Tsitsipas saved one of those but Medvedev produced the shot of the match - a miraculous backhand passing winner - to set up a chance to serve for the match.
The Russian made no mistake as he set up a mouthwatering match-up with eight-time champion Djokovic in the final.
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