Daniil Medvedev smashes racket in first loss since beating Novak Djokovic to win US Open

Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic

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Daniil Medvedev smashed his racket in frustration as he suffered his first loss since becoming a Grand Slam champion. The world No 2 was sublime at the US Open, where he halted Novak Djokovic’s bid for history in the final, and brought his form into Indian Wells before collapsing from a set and a double break up. World No 28 Grigor Dimitrov won 11 of the last 14 games to upset the top seed in the fourth round.

Medvedev has been in fine form since winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.

The world No 2 ended Djokovic’s hopes of making history, as the Serb found himself one match away from being the first man in 52 years to win a Calendar Grand Slam.

A win in the US Open final would have also allowed the world No 1 to win a record 21st Major, pulling ahead of rivals Federer and Nadal, but the Russian produced a dominant performance to win 6-4 6-4 6-4.

He carried his impressive form into Indian Wells, the postponed Masters 1000 event usually held in March, and came into the event as the top seed.

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Receiving a bye into the second round, Medvedev failed to drop a set en route to the last 16, where he faced former world No 3 and 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian has lost form as of late, with his most recent statement win coming at the 2019 US Open, where he defeated Roger Federer in five sets at the quarter-final stage.

The top seed got off to a strong start, leading by a set and 4-1 with a double break in the second, before a shift in momentum saw Medvedev lose the next eight games in a row.

Dimitrov reeled off five games in a row to win the second set 6-4 and force a decider, quickly going up a break in the third set.

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Medvedev, who entered the tournament as the favourite, suddenly looked a shadow of his former self as he found himself facing break points while serving at 1-4 in the decider.

Having missed a first serve at 15-40, he smashed his racket in frustration and was given a code violation, as Dimitrov then broke immediately to serve for the upset victory.

It seems the Russian benefitted from releasing some anger as he was able to break the world No 28 for the first time since the early stages of the second set, though it wasn’t enough as Dimitrov served out the match on the second time of asking to seal a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win in the upset of the tournament.

Although Medvedev suffered a huge collapse after leading by a set and a double break, he gave all the credit to his opponent and admitted he thought Dimitrov could go all the way in Indian Wells.

“If he plays like this, like he played starting from 4-1, he’s gonna win the tournament. But let’s see the final result of the tournament,” he admitted.

He then branded the former world No 3 “better” than anyone he faced en route to his first Major title last month, admitting that he would have been able to beat many other players despite losing his set and double-break lead.

Medvedev continued: “Talking about myself, I did become a little more tired maybe. And at the same time, it’s not that I started missing everything, like really I playing bad.

“I still maintained some level, if you can call it like this. So many matches, it would be enough to finish the match.

“He played the second part of the match, better than anybody did against me in [the] US Open so again, playing this level I don’t see him losing to anybody but let’s see the result.”

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