'What an end': Daniil Medvedev loses the plot in extraordinary meltdown

Daniil Medvedev (pictured right) smashing his racquet at the St Petersburg Open and (pictured left) after the handshake.
Daniil Medvedev (pictured right) smashed his racquet at the St Petersburg Open after his shock loss to Reilly Opelka. (Images: @TennisTV/Twitter)

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev shattered his racquet in a post-match rage after American and World No.36 Reilly Opelka came from a set down to defeat the Russian 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at the St Petersburg Open on Thursday.

The giant American saved four break points in the deciding set before going on to complete the biggest win of his career against the World No.6.

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Medvedev, who has been in a poor run of form, was infuriated after losing the match and after congratulating Opelka he smashed his racquet against the floor.

Fans jumped on social media to applaud Opelka and comment on yet another Medvedev outburst.

Opelka admitted after the match he is a big fan of Medvedev and finds his style and on-court behaviour exciting to watch.

"I've been a fan of Dani for a while — before the US Open... unlike most of the tennis fans,” Opelka joked.

"He's one the guys I watch the most because he's fun to watch.

"It's always a tough match, playing one of the best players in the world in general, but especially at his home. It's a great win for me," Opelka added.

"It was ugly for the first set-and-a-half. I felt like I barely won any points on his serve, but part of that is just because of my opponent... Daniil is an absolute nightmare to play, especially for a guy like me because he just runs every ball down."

Medvedev’s horrible run of form

It was Medvedev's third defeat in four matches having made opening round exits in Hamburg and Roland Garros.

Medvedev has crashed out of the French Open in fiery scenes after he was hit with a point penalty for smashing his racquet.

Medvedev has the unwanted statistic of losing in the first round at Roland Garros in four successive years.

Opelka will next face last year's runner-up Borna Coric after the seventh-seeded Croat enjoyed a 6-3, 7-5 win over Russian wild card Roman Safiullin.

with AFP

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