'Not for a Russian' – Daniil Medvedev hints his nationality led to boos during Australian Open final
"It's disrespectful, it's disappointing. I'm not sure after 30 years I'm going to want to play tennis," said Daniil Medvedev after again being turned on by the Australian Open crowd in his five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal on Sunday. The supporters needed little invitation to boo him during the match, while some also got carried away between the Russian's serves - much to Medvedev's frustration.
Medvedev slates ‘disrespectful’ crowd, suggests poor reception is because he is Russian
Daniil Medvedev’s feud with the Australian Open crowd continued as he branded them “disrespectful” for distracting him in his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the final – and suggested the poor reception could be linked to his nationality.
Medvedev won few supporters during his run to the final in Melbourne, urging the crowd “to show respect” after his win over home favourite Nick Kyrgios in the second round and regularly turning on the chair umpires.
During the final, as was the case throughout the week, some fans were noisy between the US Open champion’s first and second serves. He repeatedly complained about it to the umpire, who threatened the offenders with eviction in the fifth set.
"I'm just going to give one small example. Before Rafa serves even in the fifth set there would be somebody, and I would even be surprised, like one guy screaming, ‘C'mon Daniil’,” said Medvedev.
“A thousand people would be like, ‘Tsss, tsss, tsss'. That sound. Before my serve, I didn't hear it.
“It's disrespectful, it's disappointing. I'm not sure after 30 years I'm going to want to play tennis."
'They are idiots!' - Medvedev berates umpire over warnings to fans
Medvedev, 25, was also asked if he thought the negative reaction towards him was due to his nationality or simply because he is not as established as Nadal.
"I think nationality plays a key,” he said.
“It's just that Russian tennis was a little bit down for some time. I think I'm trying really, I feel there is a lot more buzz about tennis in Russia right now with me, Andrey (Rublev), Karen (Khachanov), Aslan (Karatsev), doing big things. That's great.
“Hopefully we'll try to get more people to go for us. But yeah, I can definitely see when you playing somebody from the other country, they would go for them and not for a Russian or something like this."
Medvedev also cryptically suggested he “stopped dreaming” during the match, despite playing his part in an epic that stretched five hours 24 minutes, and fighting back in the fifth set to force Nadal to serve it out for a second time.
"I'm just talking about few moments where the kid stopped dreaming, and today was one of them. I'm not going to really tell why,” he said.
“From now on I'm playing for myself, for my family, to provide my family, for people that trust in me, of course for all the Russians because I feel a lot of support there.
“I'm going to say it like this. If there is a tournament on hard courts in Moscow, before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I'm going to go there even if I miss the Wimbledon or Roland Garros or whatever.
“The kid stopped dreaming. The kid is going to play for himself. That's it. That's my story."
Highlights: Nadal wins Australian Open and claims 21st Grand Slam title
Medvedev was the tournament favourite after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament.
However, despite his grumbles, he still found time to shower Nadal with praise and said he was not too disappointed with the result.
"It was a huge match. Rafa played unreal. Raised his level. I mean, two sets to love up, I was like, ‘C'mon, just go for him, go for more’,” he said.
“In the fifth set, I was like ‘make him run’. He was unreal. He was really strong, like the way he played, at four hours even I was surprised.
“But, of course, we know how Rafa can play. He didn't play for six months. He told me after the match that he didn't practise so much. It was unreal.
“Talking about tennis, I don’t have much regret. I'm going to try to continue my best.
“I'm going to work even harder to try to be a champion of some of these great tournaments one day. But again, I'm not really disappointed with the loss and with my tennis or with anything like this.”
'No disrespect to Djokovic but this is about Nadal' - Henman
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