Two-time Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev appears determined to stay on Melbourne Park’s good side this month and is unlikely to repeat his damaging “low IQ” sled to local tennis fans.
The 26-year-old knocked out local hope Nick Kyrgios in January last year, aiming twice at viewers after the entertaining four-set clash.
Medvedev first urged fans at the Rod Laver Arena to stop the Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired “Siu” chants during his on-court interview with four-time Grand Slam winner and former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
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“Please show some respect for Jim Courier. He won here, folks,” Medvedev said.
“Please let him speak, boys. If you respect someone, at least respect Jim Courier.”
Medvedev later smiled and joked with an apologetic tournament staff member as he left the stadium: “Nah, it’s understandable. I just want to play with them a little bit.”
In an interview with Eurosport, however, he went one step further.
“Break point, second serve and people are cheering like you’ve already made a double fault – that’s just disappointing… it’s not all that do it, but those that do probably have low IQ,” he said.
For his part, Medvedev buried the hatchet with fans after his next win when he joked, “Every good relationship must have its ups and downs.”
Speaking ahead of his first game of the new year in Adelaide this week, Medvedev stood by his belief that fans can cross a line with “disrespectful” behaviour.
But he made every effort to compliment Aussie fans and reflect that he had gone too far last year.
Medvedev reveals the truth about ‘low IQ’ sleds.
“Of the 13,000 that were there (at Rod Laver Arena) because the stadium was full, maybe that comment referred to a maximum of 50 people, so that’s the first thing,” Medvedev told reporters.
“And that comment was probably not smart on my part. The way it was, the match with Nick, sometimes you just say things and after I’m like, ‘why did I say that?’
“First it might not be true, then it’s stupid. That’s why we love sports, that’s why we all have some crazy moments during the game.
“Actually, I like Australian crowds. I remember when I played against (Alex) De Minaur in Sydney, sure the whole stadium was for him, but I remember sitting down with my coach after the game and saying it was a great atmosphere – they weren’t disrespectful.
“Sure if it’s disrespectful it’s tough for any player, it’s not easy. But again, everyone loves playing in Australia. It’s a great atmosphere so I’m looking forward to playing here and hopefully it’s going to be a good (month).”
Medvedev has singled out Kyrgios after last year’s US Open defeat to get revenge should the pair face off again in the Australian Open draw.
The Russian was world No. 1 and a favorite to win at Flushing Meadows when he was eliminated by Kyrgios in the fourth round.
“I don’t feel like we have a crazy rivalry because he definitely has some more spiced up rivalries with other players,” Medvedev said.
“(But) I feel like if I play him it’s a great match-up. I would like to play against him more to try to do better than last year. He was definitely not easy to handle at the US Open, so I want to try to retaliate when I get the chance.”
Meanwhile, Medvedev is set to start his Australian campaign against Lorenzo Sonego on Tuesday, but if he had his way he would have preferred to start his campaign in the United Cup last week.
The Russian team is barred from the new mixed-gender team event, as they are from the Davis Cup, because of the country’s war against Ukraine.
“We would be the only team with four players in the top 10 (Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova),” he said.
“So we would definitely be good favorites there (in the United Cup) but it is what it is. I’m happy to be here in Adelaide and playing this tournament.
“I totally understand why we don’t play in the Davis Cup or the United Cup and team competitions where we would represent our country.”
Medvedev and Rublev led Russia to victory in the 2021 ATP Cup, the precursor to the men-only United Cup.
https://7news.com.au/sport/tennis/australian-open-runner-up-daniil-medvedev-reveals-previously-untold-truth-of-bitter-low-iq-sledge-c-9330587 Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev reveals previously untold truth about bitter ‘low IQ’ slide ahead of Australian Open 2023