Eurosport expert Barbara Schett says that Daniil Medvedev’s calm demeanour when confronting heckling fans impressed her.
After a fan had called Medvedev a loser several times following his loss to Nick Kyrgios at the National Bank Open last week, the world No. 1 decided to engage with the fan.
Schett says that she was initially surprised at the incident but that Medvedev handled it well.
“First of all, I was in shock when I saw those images that when Daniil Medvedev walked off the court, it was actually a father and a son who yelled out ‘loser, loser’,” Schett said.
“It would have been easy for Daniil Medvedev to just ignore it because, as a tennis player, you learn to ignore lots of comments from fans, to walk past that.
“But I was very impressed how calmly he talked to those fans because it was very disrespectful [of] them.
“I think he is the kind of person who takes things to heart. It really hurts him when people call him a loser. So he just wanted to set things clear and straight.
“I’m proud of him that he kept it together. I don’t think I could have kept it together.”
When asked about the incident later on, Medvedev explained why he decided to confront the fan.
“It doesn’t matter, after the match, during the tournament, on the street or at home – if someone laughs at me, I will answer. I came up and asked: ‘What’s the problem? Why do you say that? Don’t do that’.
“The surrounding people asked him to apologise. But it doesn’t matter. I won’t let anyone shout nasty things at me, I won’t keep silent and I won’t pass by. His father bothered me the most. When I approached his son, he also started saying nasty things to me.
“I will raise my children differently. Bring up the child, and don’t say nasty things to me. In general, this was one of the first cases when I encountered this in real life. But the more famous you become, the higher the probability of such incidents.”
Medvedev will be heading to the US Open in hopes of becoming the first man to retain the title since 2008 after defeating Novak Djokovic last year 6-4 6-4 6-4 for his first major title and ending the Serbian’s dream of a Calendar Slam.
He was missing from this year’s Wimbledon because of his Russian nationality but he kept his No. 1 spot because there were no ranking points awarded for the All England Club.
He will be the strong favourite going into this US Open if Djokovic is to miss out due to his vaccine status.