Daniil Medvedev is one of the fastest rising young stars on the planet. The Russian is destined for great things in the years to come and has already secured victories against some of the greatest players. However, the young star has encountered a lot of backlash from many sections of the fanbase. His attitude is one of the major reasons behind that. While some Daniil Medvedev fans find his bad-boy attitude to be cool and badass, many others despise him for the very same reason.
US Open 2019 was a very successful tournament for the young Russian. However, this tournament also saw him displaying atrocious behaviour that reduced his respect in the eyes of many fans.
In his third-round matchup against Feliciano Lopez, Medvedev was particularly angry. He snatched the towel out of the hands of the ball boy after the first set. This angered the audience who showered him with boos and jeers. The Russian responded by putting his middle finger up to the fans. His action was caught on the big screen and it further angered the crowd and those watching from home.
After the match, Medvedev thanked the fans for their frosty reception. He actually told them that if they weren’t this hostile, he wouldn’t have been motivated to play his best game! He further added that if they keep up their behaviour, he will play well in the next five matches too.
Medvedev knew that he had disturbed the hornet’s nest. He received boos in every US Open match after that. After winning his next match against Dominik Koepfer, he actually performed a dance move to celebrate as the fans showered him with boos.
He then told the fans: “I was painful in my abductor before the match. I thought I’m not going to play. I was painful in my shoulder.”
“Took as many painkillers as I could. And you guys, being against me, you gave me so much energy to win. Thank you.”
“Guys, continue to give me this energy. You’re the best.”
Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are currently two of the fiercest rivals in the tennis world. All this began back at the 2018 Miami Open. Medvedev confronted Tsitsipas after the match claiming that the latter had called him a ‘Bullshit Russian’. Medvedev thought that Stefanos should have apologised to him after gaining a lucky point at the net. While Tsitsipas said that he forgot as he was too focused on the game.
After the match, Medvedev called Tsitsipas ‘unsportsmanlike’ and “a small kid who doesn’t know how to play”.
Medvedev was 5-0 up against Tsitsipas until the latter finally got a win at the ATP Finals. Over time, Tsitsipas has claimed that he has a lot of respect for the Russian. “Our chemistry definitely isn’t the best on tour. It’s not that I hate him but we won’t be going to dinner together. I respect him for sure. He’s a Grand Slam finalist so that takes a lot of respect from me to him”, said Tsitsipas after his ATP finals victory.
Despite this, Medvedev has maintained a hostile attitude towards Tsitsipas. He even said that he doesn’t take the Greek seriously. This further worsened his perception in the eyes of fans.
Some Daniil Medvedev fans have put forth the argument that he faces all the backlash because he doesn’t fit the bill. They like him for showing his ‘real’ persona in a world where sportsmen usually display their performative selves.
There’s also a belief that the backlash faced by Medvedev in the US Open was also because of the fact that he’s Russian. Daniil Medvedev fans believe that the American crowd was looking for an opportunity to throw him off his game and pounced at the first opportunity they got.
Despite everything, it’s really hard to dismiss the fact that Daniil Medvedev is destined for greatness. He has all the tools required to win multiple grand slams. However, he will also have to realize that if his attitude doesn’t change, his greatness will always be tainted.