Russian ace Medvedev explains after ranting about US rival
Russian second-seed Daniil Medvedev secured passage to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a four sets win against Maxime Cressy – but the oddsmakers favorite to take home the title at Melbourne Park says he regrets some of his hot-headed comments made during his match with the young American.
Medvedev was repeatedly frustrated by Cressy's serve-and-volley strategy on Monday, a tactic which can reward constant pressure but whose detractors say can often strip a match of back-and-forth rallies and drama.
Tensions threatened to boil over in the third set, which Cressy won, and in the fourth Medvedev could be heard complaining that the match was "boring" and cursed his own luck as Cressy came up trumps in several close point-winning shots.
Speaking afterwards, though, it was clear that his temper had cooled somewhat and that Medvedev's frustration as much to do with the location of the match rather than the strategy of his opponent.
"I was quite mad today because of a few things. I’m working on myself, and that’s why I managed to win and still kept my composure, as much as I could, because sometimes I go much more crazier than I did today," the 25-year-old said.
"I just felt a little bit not perfect today for a few reasons. First of all, I really don’t know what should I do to play on center courts in Grand Slams, because I won the last Grand Slam. I’m highest seed here and to play against Maxime would be easier on Rod Laver – more space."
Medvedev also detailed how he lost his cool about being denied a chance to have a toilet break after the first set, after being told that he would not be allowed to change his kit later in the match if he did so – none of which, he said, was the fault of his opponent.
"I got, as you can see, pretty mad about it and I think what happened afterwards was a consequence," he said. "I’m really sorry to Maxime about it. I was annoyed with the day, let’s call it like this.
"I’m not really happy about my mentality today because I was a little bit harsh with Maxime, who played a really good match. At the same time, I’m not the only player to do it, to try to get into my opponent’s head.
"And also this can put me off my game, which straight away when I was screaming something or talking about something or not happy with anything, I was trying to completely refocus straight away and try to not think about this when I’m playing."
Prior to his apology, former pro Patrick McEnroe – brother of John, a player well-known for his on-court outbursts throughout his career – noted on social media that he felt Medvedev's behavior was over the line.
"I didn't like his attitude at all," McEnroe said in a video message posted to his Twitter account.
"Saying Cressy was lucky. Bush league behavior, in my opinion. He got through in four – it was a great match actually tennis-wise, but I thought that was very, very weak."
Medvedev will play ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in his quarterfinal match on Wednesday.