An angry toss of a towel evolved into a full-on heel turn at the US Open on Friday, as No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev made sure to antagonize the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd as much as humanly possible.
During the first set of his match against Spain’s Feliciano López, Medvedev was assessed a code violation after angrily snatching a towel and yelling at an attendant.
When the violation was announced by chair umpire Damien Dumusois, Medvedev tossed his racquet in frustration toward the ump.
The crowd was already booing Medvedev, but things escalated when cameras caught the Russian making a NSFW gesture as he walked by Dumusois.
Here's Medvedev flipping off the crowd on the opposite side of the ump like a child. The ump sees it on the replay but doesn’t give a violation pic.twitter.com/PHW2ivae94— WTA Tea (@WTATea) August 31, 2019
Those actions led to Medvedev being fined the equivalent of $9,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and visible obscenity on Saturday, according to the BBC.
The 23-year-old Medvedev went on to win the match 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 against Lopez. The New York City crowd was not pleased.
And then Medvedev decided to have a little fun with them, waving his arms at the crowd to egg them on. He then gave this surreal interview.
“Thank you all guys, because your energy tonight (gave) me the win,” Medvedev said. “Because if you were not here guys, I would probably lose the match because I was so tired. I was cramping yesterday. It was so tough for me to play. So I want all of you to know that when you sleep tonight, I won because of you.
“... The energy you’re giving me right now guys, I think it will be enough for my five next matches. The more you do this, the more I will win. For your guys. Thank you!”
In other words...
With the win over Lopez, Medvedev will advance to the fourth round and face Germany’s Dominik Koepfer. Go ahead and guess who the crowd will be favoring in that one.
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