Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic
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Daniil Medvedev was heard slamming tournament organisers over the ball boys during his opening win at the 2021 ATP Finals. The world No 2 is the defending champion at the season-ending tournament and secured his sixth win in a row at the tournament as he defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the group stage.
The ATP Finals is being held in Turin for the first time this year, after moving from London’s O2 Arena.
Medvedev won the tournament’s final edition in London and became the second Russian champion at the ATP Finals, after Nikolay Davydenko won the first edition in London back in 2009.
He beat both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal during the season-ending championship in 2020 en route to the title, and followed it up with a successful 2021 season.
The 25-year-old reached a career-high of world No 2 this year, becoming the first man outside of the ‘Big Four’ – Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray – to occupy the world’s top two since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
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The Russian also won his first-ever Grand Slam title at the recent US Open, ending Djokovic’s hopes of achieving the Calendar Grand Slam and becoming the second first-time winner in six years and the second male player born in the 1990s to win a Major, after Dominic Thiem won the US Open last year in the process.
Having won four titles this year, the world No 2 now comes into the ATP Finals as the defending champion and will be looking to win the title for a second year in a row.
He got off to a successful start, coming from a set down to defeat seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz in his first round-robin group match, 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4.
However, he took issue with the speed of the ball boys during the match and shared his frustrations with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, while taking a drink during the change-of-ends.
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In the second set, he could be heard saying: “This is a Masters, not a Challenger. I feel like I’m back in the Challenger.”
Medvedev was unhappy with how slow the ball boys were during the first-set tiebreak, won by Hurkacz, to bring the balls from one end of the court to the other.
However, he was quick to note that he wasn’t blaming the ball kids for the issue, and instead took aim at the tournament organisers.
“I’m not talking about them,” he added.
“They are doing a good job. I’m talking about [the] organizing.”
After sharing his frustrations, the defending champion was able to turn things around and win his sixth match in a row at the ATP Finals, defeating Hurkacz 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4.
Following his victory, the world No 2 admitted that the court was very fast in Turin, saying: “Really tough to play here, I mean as soon as you make one good shot, the point is probably almost over.”
He will now face the winner of the second Red Group clash between home hope Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev.
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