In a tempestuous defeat, World No 3 Daniil Medvedev faced boos and heckles from local fans in Paris, resulting in a middle-finger gesture aimed at the crowd. However, Medvedev attempted to mask the gesture, pretending to inspect his nails as he left the court following his 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 loss against Grigor Dimitrov.
During the post-match press conference, Medvedev sarcastically denied showing any obscene gestures to the crowd, stating that he was only checking his nails. He questioned why he would behave disrespectfully towards the “beautiful” Paris-Bercy crowd.
Although Medvedev tried to downplay the incident, video footage circulated on social media clearly captured him waving his middle finger. It was unclear whether he intended it as a joke or as a means to deny any wrongdoing to avoid fines.
Earlier in the match, Medvedev received a code violation for delaying the game when he sat down in protest near the end of the second set. He had already been booed for throwing his racket and telling the fans at the sideline to “fermer la bouche” (shut your mouth). He expressed his frustration with the fans’ behavior, calling it “stupid.”
Medvedev explained his actions, stating that he contemplated not continuing the match due to the incessant boos from the Bercy crowd. However, he realized that getting disqualified on such a note would not be ideal, prompting him to resume play.
Interestingly, Medvedev mentioned that he has many French friends who don’t seem to appreciate this particular tournament. He even remarked that he played better in a crowd-less environment when he won the Paris Masters in 2020 during the pandemic.
Medvedev has a history of provoking tennis crowds, often seen during his matches in New York. In fact, during the 2019 US Open, he famously addressed the spectators in his on-court interview, saying, “I want all of you to know when you sleep tonight I won today because of you.”
During that same match in 2019, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez in five sets, Medvedev faced boos for aggressively snatching a towel from a ball-boy and throwing his racket towards the chair umpire. He even delivered a hidden middle-finger salute to the fans.
While Medvedev maintains an articulate and courteous demeanor in interviews, his competitive instincts sometimes get the better of him on the court. In this year’s US Open, he made headlines for pushing a cameraman and engaging in a heated exchange with a fan.
When asked if such outbursts contribute to his tennis performance during an on-court interview, Medvedev responded, “It depends. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. It’s kind of like a lottery.”
Jessica Roberts serves up the latest in the world of tennis. With a love for the racket sport, she reports on tennis matches, player rankings, and Grand Slam events, ensuring readers stay informed about the tennis world.