Tennis star’s strange collapse in front of referee ahead of Australian Open semi-final win
Daniil Medvedev suffered a complete meltdown in an extraordinary Australian Open semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday night.
Medvedev will meet Rafael Nadal in the men’s final on Sunday night after the Russian star put on a pyrotechnic display en route to what was a heated victory.
Nadal earlier triumphed 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3 over Matteo Berrettini in a thrilling four-set battle.
No one could have predicted what happened next when Medvedev entered the pitch.
His 7-6 4-6 6-4 6-1 win was overshadowed by a moment when he lost the plot in an angry verbal attack on the chair umpire.
Medvedev launched into an angry tirade at the chair umpire after losing serve late in the second set.
After first complaining about the shouting of fans during his serve, Medvedev turned his fury on the referee when he continued to complain that Tsitsipas seemed to be benefiting from his father’s training advice in his players box.
Medvedev yelled at the chair umpire to ‘look at me’ at one point and repeatedly asked the umpire if he was ‘stupid’.
Tsitsipas fired a parting shot at Medvedev in his post-match press conference, attacking the 25-year-old’s brash reputation.
“It’s funny. I don’t pay attention to any of that,” he said of Medvedev’s outburst.
“I know players like to do that kind of stuff to mentally unsettle you. Maybe that could be a tactic. It’s fine. He’s not the most mature person anyway.”
Despite the extraordinary outburst, Medvedev did not receive a code violation for attacking the official.
“Are you crazy? Are you crazy? His dad can coach every point,” he said in a tirade caught on TV cameras.
“Are you stupid? His father can talk about every point? His father can talk about every point? Answer my question. Will you answer my question. Will you answer my question? Can you answer my question? ?his dad talks about all the points?”
He went on to tell the referee, “Oh my god. Oh my god, you’re so bad, man. How can you be so bad in the semis your answer? Look at me. I’m talking to you!” .
Medvedev then attacked the referee again when Tsitsipas concluded the second set in the following service game.
He furiously tackled the referee before walking off the court at the end of the set, calling the official a “little cat”.
He continued to ask the referee to give Tsitsipas a code violation.
“Do you understand Greek? Do you understand Greek? Next time it should be a code violation,” he said.
“If you don’t, you are, what can I call it, a little cat. Repeat the answer to my question. Do you want to answer my question?”
Tsitsipas has received several warnings this tournament for receiving coaching advice in the middle of his matches.
Tsitsipas eventually received a code violation warning for early training and smiled after learning officials had carried out an operation to catch his father in the act.
The world number 4 was not smiling in the moments that followed and he went on to lose all five service games following the code violation warning.
Tennis commentators around the world were impressed and amused by the devious work of the tournament officials.
Tournament referee Wayne McKewen and veteran referee Eva Asderaki-Moore secretly positioned themselves in the mouth of the player tunnel directly below Tsitsipas’ player box.
Asderaki-Moore, who speaks Greek, only needed to hide for a few minutes before signaling to the chair umpire that she had heard someone inside Tsitsipas’ box giving advice on coaching.
Tennis great Jim Courier described the situation as a successful “sting operation” to nab Tsitsipas. The 23-year-old is a serial offender when it comes to receiving training on the pitch and has developed a reputation for shamelessly ignoring the rules.
The match ended with the two fighters sharing an icy handshake at the net before the Melbourne crowd booed Medvedev as he stopped in midfield.
The No. 2 seed was booed again as he walked out to conduct his on-court interview with Jim Courier.
He was then booed a third time when he said he was having dinner on Saturday night and might not be watching Ash Barty play in the women’s singles final.
Courier said he asked Medvedev about his plans to try to help the Russian endear himself to the hostile crowd, but his answer didn’t help.