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Daniil Medveded was the flip side of the sport at the Australian Open. He took the floor in the preamble to his press conference to deliver a long monologue indecipherable enough to reach the conclusion that the attitude of the public attending the Rod Laver Melbourne Arena, in his majority in favor of Rafael Nadal, he had been deeply disappointed. the french newspaper The Team made that description of the appearance of the Russian tennis player before the media.

The moderator of the conference took the floor and opened the consultation session: “Let’s be quick, it’s already night, very late… It’s probably difficult to analyze. Did you talk to your coach to see what you could have done differently during the match? ?” After consultation, the finalist was dispatched with an unexpected exhibition.

Medveded, annoyed with the Australian public
Medveded, annoyed with the Australian publicMICHAEL ERREY-AFP

-Bears: We talked a bit, but this will be a separate press conference because I’m going to start with something long or short, I don’t know. I will try to make it short. It is the story of a boy who dreamed of doing great things in tennis. Since I started, at the age of six, time has passed quickly. At 12 years old I trained, I played tournaments in Russia, of course I watched the Grand Slams on TV, the big stars, the encouragement of the fans… I dreamed of being there myself. Then I started playing junior tournaments in Europe, I remember being at the Youth Olympics, where I got to the final, it was great. There was a center court, there were maybe 1,000 people, 2,000. It was really fun, amazing to be there. These are times when we dream of the best images.

Then there is the junior period, when you can see the professionals more closely during the Grand Slams. At the US Open, we eat with them. There are people in the stands who are cheering you on when they probably don’t know who you are, but they’re following the juniors. These are great moments, in which we tell ourselves that we dream of playing these Grand Slams with the best in the world. I remember going to the US Open, meeting John Isner; i was like wow, it’s so loud, louder than on TV. It was nice.

Then come the Futures, the Challengers, we try to progress. We play more and more important tournaments. There were times during my career when the kid wondered if he should keep dreaming about those big things or not. I remember losing two very tough matches at Roland Garros and I spoke French. The first against Benjamin Bonzi (in 2017) who must now be in the top 100 (he is ranked 63rd). If I’m not mistaken, there was a Russian journalist in the press room. I was like, “Really? It’s a Grand Slam…” I was close to the top 50, I was still quite young, I thought that was amazing. So I talked to this Russian journalist for five minutes, because I like to talk to journalists.

Then I remember losing to Pierre-Hugues Herbert (in 2019), after an incredible game. He had played very well, that’s what I like about tennis. I wasn’t far from the top 10, I got to the press room, I was a little frustrated with the crowd and a lot of things. I wanted to be brief and answer with just two words. There was an Italian journalist who asked me questions to which I answered with two words, no more. There were Russians asking me for things. Once again, the boy that I was he wondered if he should still dream of great things.

I won’t explain why exactly, but during today’s match I understood that for me playing tennis is fun. I was talking about journalists, but I really like talking to you, you can tell. That’s not the point. I only tell you the times that children stop dreaming and today was my case. I won’t tell you why. From now on I play for myself, my family, to support us, for the people who trust me, also for the Russians, because I feel a lot of support from them. I’ll tell you this way: if there were a hard court tournament in Moscow before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I would play it even if it meant missing Roland Garros or Wimbledon. The boy stopped dreaming. He will play for himself. That’s all, that’s my story, thanks for listening. Now I’m listening to your questions about tennis or whatever. But I will not answer questions about what I just told you (smiles).

Nadal kisses the cup: Medveded praised Nadal's reaction to reverse the two-set deficit
Nadal kisses the cup: Medveded praised Nadal’s reaction to reverse the two-set deficitAndy Brownbill – AP

-How he feels now?

-If we talk about tennis, I’m not that disappointed. It was a huge result. Of course, there are some small points, some details where he could have done better to win. But that’s tennis, that’s life. it was an amazing game. Rafa played at a surreal level, He raised his level of play after being two sets down. In the fifth, I was there telling me to make him run, but he was very strong, the way he played after four hours I was very surprised. But we know how Rafa is capable of playing. He stopped for six months, he told me after the game that he hadn’t trained much, it’s crazy. But tenniswise I don’t regret it too much, I will continue to give my best, yes. I will even work even harder, to be a champion of these big tournaments.

Did the audience disappoint you?

-I’m not going to answer questions about that story (smiles). I’ll just give you a small example. Before Rafa’s serve, in the fifth set, when a spectator shouted, which surprised me, “Come on Daniil”, a thousand people asked for silence, but before my serve, I didn’t hear that. It’s disappointing. It is a lack of respect. I’m not sure I want to keep playing tennis after the age of 30 (he will be 26 on February 11). We will see what my environment will tell me, how we will overcome this moment together, but once again, the child I dreamed of is no longer in me after this day. It will be difficult to continue playing tennis in these conditions.


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