The Russian explains his views on his celebrations and whether or not he is intentionally provoking the public.By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday December 4, 2021
It’s safe to say that fans in Madrid enjoy booing Daniil Medvedev. It’s also safe to say that the Russian doesn’t mind at all. On Saturday after clinching Team Russia’s victory over Germany with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Daniil Medvedev made the most of his post-match celebration, taking a page from Cristiano Ronaldo’s celly playbook as the crowd in Madrid showered him with boos.
“When Cristiano played in Madrid, he was doing this celebration a lot of times,” Medvedev said. “That's why I decided to do it. I felt it was fun. But, yeah, probably it was the wrong decision, which can happen. Yeah, I had to go with it and to stick with it because I like to stick to what I do.”
Medvedev talked more about his celebration methodology about it after the match, when he was asked if he enjoyed provoking the public.
“You're right in a way, it's a game which I don't play on purpose,” he said. “Everything I do, especially on the court even more than in life, is pure emotions.
When in Madrid…
'Calmaaa' 🤫@DaniilMedwed | #DavisCupFinals #byRakuten pic.twitter.com/GHhASMqLOY
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) December 4, 2021
“In life I'm more calm. When you ask a question, you guys, I have time to think, ‘Okay, what do I think? What should I answer?’ It's the same with any other person in real life. On tennis court, it's different. It's a lot of adrenaline going on. I hate to lose. There is less time and less power in myself to stop and think. So I go with emotions which sometimes is good, sometimes is not good.”
Medvedev was told by a reporter that “we very often ready that the sport doesn’t have the same characters that it had in the past,” and he gave his thoughts on this subject as well.
“I think definitely if somebody says that we need real characters, and when I say 'real' I don't want to say strong, weak, good or bad, but just real. Everything I do on the court is what I feel at this moment, so it's real,” he said. “I definitely will be 100 percent honest: definitely don't provoke the public on purpose. When you play a tennis match, you are alone there. There is 20,000 people, sometimes for you, sometimes against you, sometimes something to provoke them, it's actually not to make them mad or sad or against me. It's something that I feel in this moment. We see it in any sport.”
In the end Medvedev says he has some regrettable moments, being the emotional character that he is, but he wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe, in time, the public’s perception of him will (though it is already quite favorable).
He mentioned his infamous coin-throwing moment at Wimbledon, which drew the ire of the tennis community and earned him a fine of $14,500 after his five-set loss to Ruben Bemelmans. It was seen as insulting to umpire Mariana Alves, and Medvedev to this day admits that he regrets that moment. But it hasn’t forced him into a shell. Rather it has just made him realize that a line exists and that it’s important not to cross it.
“I don't see anything too bad in it,” he said. “Of course, even from some of what you remember, for example what happened in Wimbledon, that was not nice and I regret it. Again, it was pure emotions. It was not something fake or something where I think about something. It was pure emotions. I regret and it was not beautiful, not good. But that's also how you learn. You make mistakes and you learn.”
Medvedev also admitted that it is not so easy for the younger generation to match the squeaky clean on-court behavior of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, a standard to which many players are held to by the public.
“I think the tough part for the young generation, because we had Roger and Rafa – I go with my words – they are probably I want to say one of the most fairest sportsmen in all the history of the sport, and they were both playing together, and they both won amazing titles. Now when somebody in tennis is not like this, people tend to not like them and say, ‘How come you're not like Roger and Rafa?’ Guess what? Everybody is different. I think the moment when they retire and there are going to be new fans who didn't see Roger and Rafa live, that's what it's going to come back to where people are going to like other characters than this.”