US Open 2019: Daniil Medvedev thanks booing crowd for helping him win after appearing to put up a middle finger
Medvedev avoided a violation for the apparent gesture during his third round match
Daniil Medvedev traded rallies and tie breaks in a third round win over Felociano Lopez on Friday in the U.S. Open, he also trade some trolling with the fans. Medvedev beat Lopez 7-6(1), 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4, and the fan 'interaction' happened during and after the match.
The crowd was booing the Russian tennis player and he wanted to send a message back. Mid-match he snatched a towel and threw it, and then tossed his racket, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct code violation from umpire Damien Dumusois. The fireworks were just getting started, however
He then, not-so-sneakily, put up his middle finger against his head, perhaps signaling his displeasure with the umpire, the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd, or quite possibly both. New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg tweeted an explanation of why he did not receive a violation for the gesture and quoted the umpire. In order to receive the violation the umpire has to see it in person live, seeing it on the screen is not enough.
The gesture did not do Medvedev any favors towards winning over the crowd, who continued to boo the 23-year-old, but it did not seem like he cared if they loved him or not. After the match Medvedev thanked the crowd despite their lack of support. He embraced their negative energy and flipped the script on them saying they are the reason he won the match. His facial expression and mannerisms further proved that he was choosing to embrace the hate.
In his post-match interview he said:
"Thank you all, guys, because your energy tonight give me the win. Because if you were not here, guys, I would probably lose the match because I was so tired. I was cramping yesterday. It was so tough on me to play. So I want all of you to know, when you sleep tonight, I won because of you. The only thing I can say that the energy you're giving me right now, guys, I think it will be enough for my five next matches. I mean, the more you do this, the more I will win, for you guys."
But here's how he said it:
Medvedev has reportedly been fined for his actions in the match. With the win, the No. 5 seed moves on to the Round of 16 and face Dominik Köpfer on Sunday.
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