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WATCH: Daniil Medvedev questions Indian Wells surface speed in sarcastic umpire exchange
The former world No. 1 vented his frustration over losing the second set to Ilya Ivashka in his inimitable fashion, threatening to move as glacially as the BNP Paribas Open’s Stadium Court.
Published Mar 13, 2023
Daniil Medvedev unloaded a mountain of sarcasm on umpire Mohamed Lahyani after a disappointing performance in the second set of his BNP Paribas Open third-round clash with Ilya Ivashka.
The former world No. 1 had won seven straight sets against Ivashka dating back to 2018, but soon found himself out of sorts as a deciding set loomed under the lights of the Indian Wells Stadium court.
Medvedev, who has taken issue with slower surfaces in the past, elected to blame #TennisParadise, letting loose for one of his inimitable rants as he haggled with Lahyani over the length of a bathroom break.
“I’m going to be as slow as this court is,” he told Lahyani, “So you can take 25 minutes…The court is slow, so I go slow. I take my time…I will go slow.”
Lahyani attempted to break through Medvedev’s bad mood and issued an unofficial warning.
“Accept this. You have to accept this, Daniil. You are a professional.”
I’m going to be as slow as this court is...the court is slow, so I go slow. I take my time…I will go slow. Daniil Medvedev
Medvedev was unmoved, opting to continue his caustic bit to both Lahyani and his box of supporters as he left the court.
“I don’t accept this is not hard courts. They say on the factsheet that it’s hard courts, but I don’t accept this. They are lying.”
Though conditions in Indian Wells are indeed anecdotally slower—especially at night—the No. 5 seed, who once famously called an umpire a “small cat,” avoided becoming too combustible and settled his nerves when play resumed.
Tapping into the form that has taken him through three straight titles and 15 straight matches, Medvedev clinched a 16th consecutive win and defeated Ivashka, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
“[It’s] very tough, not easy to play here,” Medvedev nonetheless insisted in his post-match press conference. “For everyone, for everyone. I feel like there are, let's say, 10 players that have the quality, I will not say which one, but to play good here because they have something in their game that can help them. Other than that, everyone is struggling.”
Slow as this hard court can be, one supposes it could be worse for Medvedev: it could be clay!