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WATCH: Self-proclaimed ‘hard-court specialist’ Daniil Medvedev continues Indian Wells tirade
The former world No. 1 picked up where he left off in his last match, letting loose two more sarcastic rants to umpire Renaud Lichtenstein while taking on Alexander Zverev.
Published Mar 14, 2023
Daniil Medvedev has been doing double duty at the BNP Paribas Open, both playing tennis and running scathing commentary about the state of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden courts—all this despite a career-best run to the quarterfinals.
Less than 48 hours after his first rant during a topsy-turvy third round against Ilya Ivashka, the former world No. 1 was similarly fit to be tied against Alexander Zverev, finding little solace from umpire Renaud Lichtenstein as he broke out his well-worn bathroom break bit after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker.
“It’s a disgrace to sport, this court,” he exclaimed, delighting fans online with his relentless invective. “We should be banned from playing here, a freaking disgrace to sport, this freaking court. And they call it hard courts. What a shame to call this awful court a hard court.
“I’ll go to toilet, but I don’t care, give me time violation,” he continued. “I’m going to be as slow as the court again. I don’t care; give me five time violations, I’ll go in one minute. If they allow us to play on such a court, I can allow myself to do whatever I want.”
Medvedev wasn’t done, picking up with Lichtenstein, who pleaded with the former US Open champion to pipe down in both in English and French.
It’s not a hard court. I know what is hard court, I’m a specialist. Daniil Medvedev
“I didn’t say enough,” Medvedev countered. “The ATP’s not doing a good enough job on checking the courts, because it’s not hard courts. They should say on the fact sheet, ‘very slow hard court.’ They’re not doing a good enough job, and there are mics, so I need people to know it.”
Lichtenstein’s attempts to convinced Medvedev that he was, indeed, playing on a hard court fell on deaf ears.
“No, no no! It’s not a hard court,” he insisted. “I know what is hard court, I’m a specialist.”
There’s little arguing that: Medvedev has now won his last 17 matches—on both hard courts and “hard courts”—and found himself comfortable enough on Tuesday to rally from a set down and shake off an ankle injury to defeat Zverev in just over three hours.
“When I rolled my ankle, for about 10 minutes I was thinking less about the match and more about my ankle and how it’s feeling, just trying to play more aggressive and not run too much. That helped me get the momentum and some confidence to cool down from the heat of the match we were playing in, and that even helped me in the third set.”
So long as Medvedev continues to channel his frustrations into a sharp wit, the hard-court specialist may end up expanding his arsenal by week’s end.