While Stefanos Tsitsipas may have had the majority of the crowd on his side during his semi-final showdown with Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open, one moment of madness in the second set had TV viewers fuming.
Tsitsipas was no match for Medvedev as the Russian swept into the Australian Open final with a 6-4 6-2 7-5 thrashing of his Greek rival.
Tsitsipas cut a frustrated figure as he had no answers to a masterful Medvedev display, and let his emotions boil over during a change of ends in the second set.
Sitting on his court-side bench with Medvedev up 2-1, Tsitsipas opened a water bottle and smashed it onto the ground in disgust.
After the water sprayed onto the court, Tsitsipas watched on as a number of ball kids were forced to clean up the mess.
Fans flocked to social media to condemn Tsitsipas' actions, with many of the belief that he should have had to clean it up himself.
Unacceptable reaction for a tennis athlete!
— Jep Gambardella (@pavlos340) February 19, 2021
Someone should make these self-entitled brats get down on their hands and knees and clean up their own messes!
— Andy (@Andy13034956) February 19, 2021
Why do the ball kids have to clear up the players mess???
— Bridget Rowe-Sykes (@BridgetRS) February 19, 2021
Interesting that Tsitsipas still has crowd support despite throwing an open water bottle that the ball kids then had to clean up. That would usually lose the crowd. #AusOpen
— Rebekah (@BeckiiBubbles) February 19, 2021
So Tsitsipas chucked his water bottle into the court? And now ballboys wiping the mess he made? What a bratty behavior.
— Abbey (@abbey_tennis) February 19, 2021
— Vishal 🕉 (@VBG_10) February 19, 2021
@steftsitsipas gamesmanship is disgusting. He constantly gets on-court coaching violations; he stalls players by taking last-minute bathroom breaks, etc. He's awful. #AusOpen #AustralianOpen #Medvedev
— newbnin (@newbnin) February 19, 2021
As for Medvedev, he was seen smirking smuggly after Tsitsipas' outburst, before questioning the chair umpire about why he didn't get a code violation.
Medvedev sets up showdown with Djokovic
Medvedev's win continued his dominance over Tsitsipas, seemingly having the ball on a string for much of Friday night on Rod Laver Arena.
The pair had something of a history, trading on-court insults back in 2018 and sniping on and off since but there was no obvious acrimony in the two hour and 12 minute demolition.
It extends Medvedev's record against Tsitsipas to 6-1 and continues the 25-year-old Muscovite's phenomenal 20-match unbeaten run on tour.
While world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be a warm favourite to end that golden stretch as he seeks his ninth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, the Serb is unlikely to hold any great fears for Medvedev, who has won three of their last four encounters.
Medvedev said all the pressure was on Djokovic in the final.
"I think he's the favourite because he didn't lose. In eight occasions that he was here in the semis, he won the tournament," Medvedev said.
"Me ... I don't know how you call it in English, not an outsider, but I'm the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it.
"I think if we talk in general - I have nothing to lose."
Tsitsipas looked a shadow of the heroic figure who beat Rafael Nadal in a quarter-final - just the second time the Spanish great had been trumped in a grand slam after winning the first two sets.
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