Daniil Medvedev responds to fans booing him after Vienna Open victory

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Daniil Medvedev took on the pantomime villain role in Vienna on Thursday as he defeated home hero Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-3 with a dominant display. The Austrian crowd cheered a double fault from the top seed in the final game of the match and booed him when he won, prompting Medvedev to sarcastically put his thumbs up at the fans.

Medvedev is playing his first tournament since suddenly retiring from his Astana Open semi-final against Novak Djokovic earlier this month. The ATP 500 in Vienna also marks his first event since becoming a father, but the world No 4 has shown zero signs of rustiness as he advanced to the quarter-finals with a straightforward victory over Thiem.

Coming up against the home favourite, the crowd were automatically siding with Thiem throughout and stepped up their level of support when the 29-year-old found himself 2-5 3-6 down. They spurred on their man to hold from 0-30 down before Medvedev served for the match, hitting a double fault before sealing a 6-3 6-3 victory.

After the crowd cheered his mistake, the 2021 US Open winner stuck his tongue out in response and was able to serve out the match. He was then booed by the crowd as he approached the net to shake hands with Thiem, and decided to sarcastically put his thumbs up to the spectators.

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But Medvedev had no hard feelings with Thiem as he embraced the world No 113 at the net and could be seen chatting to him as they shook hands. The Austrian is still on the comeback from a wrist injury that forced him to end his 2021 season in June, as he only made his return on the clay this year. 

The 2020 US Open champion’s comeback has been gaining steam of late, as he reached back-to-back semi-finals in his last two tournaments in Antwerp and Gijon. But he was unable to keep the streak alive on home soil, going out to Medvedev in round two.

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The top seed in Vienna thought Thiem impressed but explained where the former world No 3 was still missing some of the strongest aspects of his game. “It was not easy,” he said after the match. 

“I got the momentum from when I broke in the first set and then when I saved a break point in the next game. Thiem is still missing a bit from where he was when he was winning a Grand Slam. Just three per cent or five per cent slower, less aggressive.”

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