‘Kid Stopped Dreaming’: A Despondent Daniil Medvedev Details His Life Story After Australian Open 2022 Final Loss to Rafael Nadal

Published 01/30/2022, 1:05 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 31, 2022 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev gives a speech after the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

At one point during the 2022 Australian Open final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev, the Russian star was leading by two sets and had three break points to convert in the third. Two and a half hours later, it was Nadal who scripted history by winning his 2nd Australian Open crown and surpassed Djokovic and Federer in terms of number of Slams won.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Medvedev lost the plot from the tail end of the third set. It looked as if he was not in the best shape physically and started using drop shots that didn’t go his way. Also, the boos from a pro-Nadal crowd clearly had an impact on the Russian.


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Daniil Medvedev talks about his relationship with the crowd after Australian Open 2022 final

Normally, it would have been Medvedev’s day as the Russian is used to the adversity of crowds and even mentioned several times that he gets riled up if the audiences boo him during matches. On Sunday, it was a different story. Nadal really found his groove after winning the third set and produced great tennis right from the start of the fourth set.

But, it must be stressed that the crowd’s dislike of Medvedev really had an impact on him and it was evident in his post-match presser. The World No.2 expressed in detail about how he was never embraced by the crowd.

Even before the press started asking questions, Medvedev went on to explain a bit about his journey and how he realized at a very young age that he won’t be enjoying tennis like the way he dreamed. Despite talking in detail, it was tough to exactly point out what the Russian was feeling.

“But I really like talking to you guys (journalists). I think you can see it. That’s not really the point. 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.”

Before talking about the match today, Medvedev shared how he dreamt of being a tennis player.

When I picked up a racquet when I was six years old, I mean, the time goes fast. When I was 12, practicing, playing some Russian tournaments, of course watching Grand Slams on the TV, big stars playing, fans supporting. You dream of being here.” 

Medvedev had a tough time coping with a pro-Nadal crowd in Australia

Clearly, he is not entirely happy with the way live tennis fans treat him on-court. After a while, Daniil mentioned that he will play tennis for his family and for the people who support him in Russia.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 30, 2022 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

A personality like Medvedev, who speaks his mind during interviews on and off the court, can be tough for fans to appreciate instantly. But, receiving boos in between points and especially in the time between first and second serves will be frustrating for any tennis player and Medvedev expressed the same in his press conference today.


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It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Daniil Medvedev and the crowd changes over the years as he intends to go deep in Grand Slam events and earn a name for himself on the ATP tour.



Sagar Ashtakoula

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Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.