In Paris, the 27-year-old Medvedev was eliminated in the second round against Grigor Dimitrov and thus did not relish the narrow defeat in Sunday’s final of the Vienna 500, where he lost to Italo Sinner after more than a three-hour battle 6:7, 6:4, 3:6.
In the duel against the experienced Bulgarian, Medvedev’s nerves frayed for the first time in the dramatic ending of the second set. At 5-5, the crowd booed his frustration and the Russian earned a warning after a wild exchange with the umpire.
In the end, Medvedev lost the match in the tiebreak in the decisive sets 3:6, 7:6, 6:7 and when leaving for the locker room, he showed the fans a raised middle finger in farewell.
He then explained the whole situation at the press conference. “It was nothing, I was just checking my nail. Why would I do such a thing to the amazing audience in the Bercy hall? ” the 2021 US Open Grand Slam champion sarcastically remarked.
“I played much better when the fans weren’t here during the pandemic. I have a lot of French friends and you don’t need this tournament too much. Apparently there’s a reason for it,” the world number three mused.
It was not the first time that the Russian had a problem with the Parisian audience. Already last year in a match with the Australian De Minaur, he was booed by the fans when he smashed the racket several times in the match and accompanied everything with theatrical gestures towards the spectators.
Medvedev boasts a top career record of 89-35 in the hall, thanks to which he won eight titles. However, he succeeded in Paris only in 2020, when the world pandemic was at its peak and it was played without spectators, and a year later he reached the final. There were already fans in the Bercy hall, but their number was limited. During the five years, which took place with a full audience, he said goodbye in the second round at the latest.
Even the world number one had her share of trouble with the unruly French spectators. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic was having a tough battle with Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor and after losing serve in the third set, he couldn’t hold his nerve anymore and ironically applauded the audience.
However, the leader of the world rankings closed the match in style. After the incident, he did not lose a single innings and ended the duel with two clean sheets. In the quarterfinals, he will face Dane Holger Run in a repeat of last year’s final.