Medvedev clashes with fans in France (VIDEO)
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev mocked French tennis fans after the former world number one was subjected to boos during an ill-tempered defeat to Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka on Thursday.
Top seed Medvedev endured a rough return to action as he fell in three sets to his 37-year-old rival, losing 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 at the Moselle Open in Metz.
Medvedev’s frustrations became increasingly evident and the Russian hammered his racket into the court after being broken in his first service game of the third set.
The crowd responded by jeering, leading to Medvedev booing in return and wildly waving his arms in what was described by some as a ‘monkey’ gesture, before pointing to his head to suggest some fans in attendance were ‘crazy’.
“If there’s one factor you don’t do in the direction of a French crowd, it’s provoke them,” claimed one tennis fan online.
The commentary team said Medvedev was “simmering” and warned that he was on the verge of being punished by the umpire for his antics.
Others suggested that the animosity might be surprising considering that Medvedev speaks fluent French and has a residence in Monaco, although he has clashed with fans before – notably at the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open at the start of this year.
The Moscow-born star was also seen confronting an abusive fan at the Canadian Open in August.
Medvedev went on to suffer a disappointing defeat against Wawrinka, who is a three-time Grand Slam champion but currently resides at a lowly 284th spot in the ATP rankings.
Medvedev, 26, had said on the eve of the tournament that he had been aiming to recapture form ahead of some big events to close the season, with the Paris Masters 1000 at the end of October and the ATP Finals in Turin in November.
The Russian was recently toppled from his world number one spot after a fourth-round exit at the US Open, where he had been hoping to defend his title.
Medvedev now lies fourth in the ATP charts after being usurped by Spanish teenage star Carlos Alcaraz, who claimed his maiden Grand Slam title in New York.
Wawrinka was delighted with his upset win on Thursday as he leveled his head-to-head record with Medvedev at 2-2.
“We always have some great battles,” said the Swiss.
“He is at the top of the rankings. One of the best players and nicest person outside of the court, so it is always great to play against each other.”
Wawrinka plays Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the quarterfinals in Metz.