Medvedev slams ‘low IQ’ fans as Russian tells Aussie crowd to ‘show respect’ (VIDEO)
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev had stern words for the Melbourne crowd as he sent Australian Nick Kyrgios crashing out of his home Grand Slam, telling fans to “show some respect” before referring to “low IQ” members of the audience.
Medvedev faced an early test of his credentials in Melbourne with a tricky-looking second-round meeting with Kyrgios at Rod Laver Arena.
The Aussie hero is known for his ability to whip the home crowd into a frenzy in his pursuit of victory, also resorting to some of tennis’ darker arts with his on-court antics.
Some of those were on display on Thursday as the 26-year-old often went from the sublime to the ridiculous, frequently exchanging heated words with the match umpire and even stealing one of Medvedev’s towels.
But the Russian kept his cool to emerge the winner across four sets while mostly keeping a lid on the simmering atmosphere with a ruthless display which shut out Kyrgios, with the exception of a third set which saw some inspired tennis from the mercurial Aussie.
Speaking about his win afterwards to two-time Australian Open champion Jim Courier, Medvedev had strong words for the crowd after being asked how he had kept his composure amid some disrespectful jeering.
“It’s the only choice when you get booed between the first and second serve, it’s not easy, you just have to stay calm and win the match,” said the Russian.
That triggered jeers from the crowd, before Courier attempted to explain that the noise may have been tennis fans shouting ‘Siu!’ – the celebration made famous by football icon Cristiano Ronaldo which often sounds like booing and which has emerged as a peculiarity at this year’s Grand Slam in Melbourne.
“Guys, I can’t hear him, please. Show some respect to Jim Courier. He won here twice,” Medvedev said, raising his arms.
“Let him speak please. If you respect somebody, at least respect Jim Courier.”
As an avid football fan, Medvedev will know full well where the ‘Siu!’ chants come from and smiled as he continued his answer.
“But what I’m saying, between first and second serve, it’s not easy,” Medvedev added.
The interview concluded with a mixture of applause and jeers for the 25-year-old, who left the arena with some playful trolling as he wrote ‘Siuuuu!’ in the traditional post-match winner’s message onto the lens of a TV camera.
Indeed, Medvedev suggested that his anger at the crowd may have been at least partly playful as he was overheard in conversation with a local who apologized for the crowd in the players’ area after the match.
“It’s understandable,” Medvedev replied. “I just wanna play with them a little bit.”
But the Russian second seed did vent more displeasure with some of the crowd as he was interviewed by EuroSport.
“I guess it’s normal that everybody experiences it really, especially when you play not just a home favorite but Nick,” Medvedev said.
“I have a break point second serve and people are already cheering like you’ve already made a double-fault.
“I mean, that’s just disappointing because it’s not everybody that’s doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.”
Medvedev isn’t the first star to question the behavior of the fans Down Under. Despite enjoying fervent partisan support, Kyrgios himself fumed at the home crowd, at one point telling the match umpire to keep them under control.
“Will you not scream during my f**king serve?!” Kyrgios was heard saying.
Earlier in the tournament, British icon Andy Murray admitted that the ‘Siu!’ chants were “irritating.”
“First I thought they were booing me but then I realized they were doing the same sound Ronaldo does when he scores. It was incredibly irritating,” said the Scot.
Medvedev might have irked some locals with his comments, but the Russian is no stranger to waging running battles with the crowd.
He endured a back-and-forth with fans in New York on the way to the US Open final in 2019 before eventually making peace with them.
The Russian – who won last year’s US Open title for his maiden Grand Slam – will face his next assignment in Melbourne against unseeded Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Saturday.
After the departure of world number one Novak Djokovic – who defeated him in last year’s final – Medvedev is now the highest-ranked player in the men’s draw.
Medvedev is aiming to become the first man to follow a maiden Grand Slam crown by winning the title on his next appearance at a Major.
Should he achieve that feat, he would also be the first Russian men’s singles champion Down Under since Marat Safin won the Melbourne title in 2005.