Russian tennis ace Daniil Medvedev ended his run at the Madrid Open by reportedly rowing with fans in the crowd, suffering a familiar nosebleed and crashing out – a loss that ends his hopes of overtaking Novak Djokovic this month.
Despite a mid-match outburst about how he did not want to play on the clay surface he despises, Medvedev broke his wait for a win at the tournament with a comeback victory over Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Wednesday to reach the round of 16, having been given a bye in the previous round.
Medvedev had ruefully written that he loved clay on a camera after that win, which kept alive his faint hopes as the only player who could have deposed Djokovic as world number one imminently, although he would have needed an excellent run and results in other matches to fall favorably for him in order to do so this month.
The world number three’s prospects of ending Djokovic’s record-breaking stint were promptly extinguished on Thursday, when the contender went out in turbulent fashion with a three-set defeat to world number 25 Cristian Garin, who earned one of the biggest wins of his career by beating Medvedev.
Cristian Garin bundles out the second seed Daniil Medvedev 64 67 61 in Madrid. It is an upset but we also know Medvedev is not a fan of clay and talks down his ability on the surface
— Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) May 6, 2021
The Australian Open finalist was said by viewers to have become irritated by crowd members who could not contain their noise, asking them “how is your miserable life?” before telling them to keep quiet.
“Medvedev loves an argument with fans in the crowd,” said one onlooker.
“I know people will be mad at him for this, but if the fan is being a pr*ck then they deserve to be told to shut the f*ck up by players.”
Medvedev: “How is your miserable life” And then he tells the fan to shut up.
— Nawal (@NawalNadal) May 6, 2021
Another claimed: “I couldn’t hear it properly either but it looks like Medvedev said those fans were misbehaving since early in the match and [umpire Christian] Rask failed to do anything.
“To which Rask said he never noticed anything. Daniil was like: ‘we are here for more than two hours and you saw nothing?’ It’s stupid.”
The second seed may not have built on his win against Fokina, but he will be remembered for his entertaining antics across his two matches on his welcome return from a Covid-19 infection that kept him out of the Monte-Carlo Masters on the eve of the tournament.
I couldn’t hear it properly either but looks like Medvedev said those fans were misbehaving since early in the match and Rask failed to do anything. To which Rask said he never noticed anything. Daniil was like: we are here for more than 2+ hours and you saw nothing? It’s stupid.
— Oleg S. (@AnnaK_4ever) May 6, 2021
Medvedev hates the clay, then he lOvEs tHe cLaY, then he hates the clay, then he got a nosebleed for no reason, then he tried to eat a banana and made it look like some alien fruitDude is assembled non-identically
— Matthew Willis (@mattracquet) May 6, 2021
“What is notable – far more than Medvedev’s loss in Madrid on Thursday to Cristian Garin – is how miserable ‘Club Med’ was in Spain,” argued tennis writer Matt Zemek on Tennis Accent.
“It’s one thing to lose, quite another to be nasty and pouty all the while.
“We get it: Medvedev hates clay the way Andre Agassi hated grass in 1990 and 1991, before winning Wimbledon changed his life and his career in 1992.
I am a very big fan of Medvedev, but given his dislike for clay, there’s no way he will do enough to overtake Novak. Hope this helps!
— Jon Phillips (@JonPhil81081632) May 6, 2021
“‘Club Med’ doesn’t have to allow this to be a mental block for him, but that’s exactly what he is doing at the moment. This is why Madrid and the clay season need Novak Djokovic.”
Fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev also went out in straight sets on Thursday, losing to Russian-born Kazakh Alexander Bublik, who progressed to the quarterfinals with the win. Top seed Rafael Nadal also went through.