Russian star Daniil Medvedev has appeared to take aim at a crowd member who was distracting him in the final moments of his round 1 match at the Australian Open. Medvedev returned to Melbourne Park for his first match against Marcos Giron a year after his devastating loss to Rafa Nadal in the Australian Open final.
Medvedev returned to the arena where he hasn't enjoyed the best relationship with the crowd after a hostile reception at the Australian Open in 2022. This year was different as Medvedev was welcomed back with a cheer as he entered Rod Laver Arena, before he swept aside Giron 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
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However, the Russian did become particularly perturbed with a member of the crowd in the closing moments of the match. Serving for the match at 5-2, Medvedev turned to the crowd and appeared to tell a crowd member to 'f**k off'.
Medvedev briefly chatted to the chair umpire before he was given a warning for the audible obscenity. This didn't stop the Russian who closed out the match in style.
It was an unusual move from the Russian who was only points away from winning comfortably.
"It was a very strange time to react like that," former British No.1 Tim Henman said on Eurosport commentary.
Members of the tennis world agreed, however others accused members of the crowd of taunting Medvedev.
I was at the Medvedev Giron match tonight. Lots of "small cat" taunts, loud guffawing for unforced errors, generally ugly behaviour by young men in the crowd. Only once did I hear a feminine voice call out, "Small cat!".
— Cool Polar Bear (@penguinlament) January 16, 2023
Medvedev telling someone in the crowd to f off while leading 6-0 6-1 5-2 vs Giron 👀 #AusOpen
— Blaynos (@Blaynos14) January 16, 2023
Strange end to the match. Medvedev swearing at someone in the crowd and finding it difficult to close out.
— Darren (@LSALad) January 16, 2023
Medvedev did appear to win over members of the crowd that stayed late on the Monday evening during his post-match interview. Commentator and former player Jim Courier came out for the on-court interview with Medvedev.
And the grand slam champ said he was thinking during the third set about who was going to conduct the interview and if it would be Courier.
"First of all, I am really happy to see you," Medvedev said. "During the match when I was leading two sets to love, I was thinking to myself, "Is Jim here?'"
Danill Medvedev to face John Millman at Aus Open
Medvedev's win sets up a tricky match with Australian John Millman. The 33-year-old twice trailed Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler by a set but fought back before running away with a 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 6-3 win, prevailing in four hours and six minutes.
"They're the matches you want to play," Millman said. "He's one of the few guys that I've actually never played before. I love watching him play.
medvedev playing millman the australian next oh brother he’s finished with the crowd 😭 villain era incoming again
— chloe (@sithlordchloe) January 16, 2023
"It's a daunting prospect because you know that when you play against him, you have to work for every point. He gives you no points. He covers the court extremely well. He extends the rallies and that's how I'm winning my rallies.
"So it's going to be a really tough battle but I've had a couple of big matches before against some of these big players and generally speaking, I like to test myself against them."
Medvedev slammed the Australian crowd last year for having a 'low IQ' after he perceived them for booing him. However, the crowd was performing the 'siu' chant associating with Cristiano Ronaldo's football celebration.
The loudly audible chant, which was slammed from viewers on TV, also took other players by surprise. Andy Murray was another player that was confused and thought he was being booed.
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