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28 Jan, 2022 15:09

Beaten Tsitsipas calls Medvedev ‘immature’ after Australian Open tirade

Stefanos Tsitsipas has claimed Daniil Medvedev is ‘not the most mature person’ after the pair’s tempestuous match in Melbourne
Beaten Tsitsipas calls Medvedev ‘immature’ after Australian Open tirade

Daniil Medvedev was labeled immature by rival Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Russian star unleashed a furious rant at the umpire during the pair’s Australian Open semifinal, in a row over the Greek receiving coaching from the sidelines.

Medvedev exploded at chair official Jaume Campistol at the end of the second set at Rod Laver Arena on Friday, accusing the umpire of turning a blind eye to Tsitsipas receiving coaching from his father, Apostolos, who was sitting in the player’s box.

The Russian demanded that Tsitsipas be given a code violation for the infringement as players are not allowed to be coached during matches.

After Campistol refused, a furious Medvedev called him “a small cat” in an outburst which was soon shared widely on social media.

The 25-year-old was somewhat vindicated as Tsitsipas was handed a coaching violation later in the match for supposedly receiving advice from the sidelines.  

That came as Medvedev regained his composure to win in four sets, 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1, setting up a final with Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

After the contentious scenes between Medvedev and his Greek rival – who already have a famously frosty relationship after previous on-court clashes, including an explosive bust-up in Miami in 2018 – Tsitsipas claimed that the Russian had some growing up to do.

“It’s for sure funny,” said the Greek when asked about the outburst.

“I don’t pay attention to this stuff. I know players like to do this stuff to throw you off mentally, it could be a tactic. He’s not the most mature person anyways.”

The 23-year-old staunchly denied that he had received coaching, claiming he could not even make out what his father was saying amid the noise from the Melbourne crowd.

“I wasn’t [receiving coaching]. I mean, I can’t hear anything when I’m playing, it’s impossible, having the crowd being so loud at every point,” said the fourth seed.  

“You have to have super hearing to be able to hear what your coach says.”

Tsitsipas added he felt “targeted” by umpires, saying that he had been a “victim” of on-court coaching accusations “for a long time now.”

The Greek ace admitted however that he had spoken to his father about it.

“I've talked to him about it. I've tried, spent countless hours trying to figure it out with him, but it's part of him,” said Tsitsipas after he missed out on the chance of a second Grand Slam final appearance.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep receiving coaching violations, even though I will never listen to any single thing he says.

“But it’s fine, they can do that if they want, if they believe it’s right.

“That was also one of the reasons last year I went out publicly on one of my social media platforms and said that I think coaching should be allowed, simply because coaches do it anyways.”

Speaking to the media in his own post-match press conference, Medvedev attempted to play down the row.

“I don’t consider coaching as cheating, but it should be a code violation. And then the second one would be a bit tricky,” said the Russian.

“I don’t want to get too much into this. I feel like I didn’t talk about him, I just talked about the rule. I don’t know what his father is saying.

“Maybe he’s saying just like ‘come on’, which is completely allowed… It was only about this, nothing about Stefanos.”

Medvedev is into a fourth Grand Slam final of his career and will be aiming to add to the US Open title he won September.

The world number two lost last year’s Melbourne final to nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, who was deported prior to this year’s tournament in an ugly visa and vaccination row with the Australian government.

Nadal will be bidding for a second Australian Open title to add to the one he claimed in 2009, and could win an outright record of 21 Grand Slam titles – moving him one ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time list.