'Cash is king': French Open loser's savage swipe at organisers

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Seen here, Daniil Medvedev in his press conference and the quarter-final in front of an empty stadium.
Daniil Medvedev slammed French Open organisers for prioritising TV ratings over spectators. Pic: Roland Garros/Twitter

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev has delivered a serve for French Open organisers after weighing in on a controversy that left many fans incensed.

The World No.2 exited Roland Garros off the back of a bizarre under-arm serve after losing his quarter-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.

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Medvedev was beaten 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 by Greek fifth seed Tsitsipas who will face Germany's Alexander Zverev for a place in the final.

The match was controversially scheduled during the night session at Roland Garros, where a 9pm curfew has seen fans ushered out of stadiums before or during matches.

The night sessions are being used for the first time at the French Open and fans have been grumbling all week that some of the biggest matches have been robbed of a live crowd.

Medvedev's quarter-final clash was no different and legions of tennis fans took to social media to complain about the lack of atmosphere for the clash between the World No.2 and World No.5.

This year's French Open is staging evening sessions for the first time under a broadcast agreement with streaming giant Amazon.

The Russian - who had never previously won a match at Roland Garros before this year - revealed his dismay afterwards that the match was selected for the penultimate evening session.

"It was without a doubt the match of the day but Roland Garros preferred Amazon to people," said Medvedev.

He compared the situation to the Formula One world championship when the 2020 Australian Grand Prix was set to take place in Melbourne even though there had been a Covid-19 outbreak in the paddock.

The race was eventually cancelled.

"Yesterday I started the third season of (Netflix documentary series) 'Drive to Survive' and there's an episode called 'Cash Is King'," added Medvedev.

"They were in Australia ready to race, and they asked Lewis Hamilton what he thinks about racing in the conditions the world was in right now, and he said, I don't know what we are doing here.

"And so they asked him, Why do you think they make you race? And he said, 'Cash is King.' It was the same here."

Russian's tactic backfires badly

Played inside an empty Court Philippe Chatrier because of the 9pm Covid-19 curfew, Medvedev's match ended in bizarre fashion as an attempted underarm serve on match point backfired badly.

With Medvedev approaching the net, hoping to finish the point with a volley, Tsitsipas merely fired a backhand winner beyond him.

"I was thinking about this during the whole match, like that maybe in the important point I could do it because my opinion was that he was quite far back in the court, so that can always work," explained the 25-year-old.

"I didn't see the opportunity before but I thought it's going to be a good choice to bring him surprise. I sometimes do it on practice.

"Usually guys are a bit surprised. But it didn't work out at all. I won't say it was a mistake. It was something that I dared to do and maybe next time I won't do it knowing that he's ready."

Pictured here, Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Daniil Medvedev at the French Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Daniil Medvedev at the French Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tsitsipas had his own description for the ploy which backfired so badly for his opponent.

"A very millennial shot," said the Greek, who also made the semi-finals in Paris last year where he was beaten by Novak Djokovic.

"I saw he kind of stopped. I felt like there was something coming up, so at that point I think I got prepared for it."

Tsitsipas now has the most wins on the ATP tour this season (38) and won clay court titles at Monte Carlo and Lyon.

He will be playing in a third successive Grand Slam semi-final.

Medvedev, the 2019 US Open runner-up and this year's Australian Open finalist, suffered his first quarter-final loss at a major.

with agencies

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