Daniil Medvedev has once again proven why he’s one of the more mercurial players in tennis.
The No. 2 player in the world’s loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open quarterfinals was defined by tantrums and rants.
Throughout the course of the match, Medvedev complained about hearing outside noise in a nearby corridor. He paused at one point, complaining, “Is this a Futures?”
The Roland Garros facilities were never going to be ideal for the 25-year-old Russian, as his hatred of clay courts is well known.
Toward the end of the 6-3 7-6 7-5 defeat, Medvedev was frustrated that the scoreboard displayed the incorrect score. Despite the umpire admitting that the score was wrong it led to a long-winded rant from the Russian.
“Why can’t you change it? It was showing wrong. You are wrong. As you told me, I got you on this one,” Medvedev yelled.
This outburst concluded with Medvedev, who was already down 3-6 6-7 4-5, blaming the umpire for his shortcomings: “Now if I lose this match it’s your fault!”
In the end, Tsitsipas secured his place in the grand slam semifinal. In a bizarre choice for match point, Medvedev opted to serve underhand on match point. Tsitsipas easily whacked the ball past Medvedev to clinch the victory. This was only Tsitsipas’ second career win over Medvedev, but armed with powerful groundstrokes and a decent spin, the French Open will be the young player’s third consecutive grand slam semifinal.
The two European stars have a history of friction.
At the 2018 Miami Open, Tsitsipas hit a shot off the net following a bathroom break and did not apologize to Medvedev. That led to Medvedev loudly yelling “Man, you better shut your f–k up, OK?” and then following up with complaints that Tsitsipas took a five-minute trip to the restroom and demanded that Tsitsipas say sorry to him.
Medvedev’s conduct toward umpires and tournament staff has always been extreme. In 2017, he was fined for throwing coins at an umpire after a loss at Wimbledon. At the US Open two years later, he was handed a code violation for ripping a towel out of ball person’s hands, throwing his racket in the direction of the umpire, and was caught flashing his middle finger. Earlier this season in Madrid, Medvedev hit his racket on the court and complained that he didn’t “want to play here on this surface.” After the umpire asked him to not damage the court, Medvedev argued the court was “already broken.”
Following his loss, Medvedev slammed French Open organizers for scheduling his match at night, when fans cannot attend due to France’s 9 p.m. curfew. Last week, tournament director Guy Forget told the Tennis Majors that the tournament’s organizers had a “commitment” to Amazon to put the day’s largest match at night. Medvedev claimed that the French Open “preferred Amazon to people” and that “cash is king” in the decision.
While Medvedev will leave the French Open with the world knowing that he can, in fact, compete on clay, his reputation as one of tennis’ biggest villains remains intact.