Daniil Medvedev Taunts Fans After Boos at 2019 US Open: 'I Won Because of You'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2019

Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, raises his arms after defeating Feliciano Lopez, of Spain, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament early Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev dedicated his third-round victory over Feliciano Lopez on Friday night to the U.S. Open fans who booed him following a first-set temper tantrum.

"I want all of you to know when you sleep tonight, I won because of you," Medvedev said in his post-match interview as the jeers continued. "The more you do this, the more I will win for you guys."

Medvedev is one of the sport's rising stars, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 5 heading into the 2019 season's final major tournament.

The 23-year-old five-time winner on the ATP Tour has yet to advance beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam. He can end that drought by beating Dominik Koepfer on Sunday, but his actions Friday likely ensure the New York City crowd will be firmly against him.

Medvedev was given a code violation by umpire Damien Dumusois for ripping a towel out of the hands of a ball person. He proceeded to throw his racket in the direction of Dumusois before flashing his middle finger in the direction of the umpire.

After being given a chance to cool down after his four-set victory over Lopez, he admitted the situation got the better of him.

"I was in the heat of the moment," Medvedev told reporters. "[I] started losing the momentum, so I mean, was tough. Was tough, and I don't really remember. I mean, I paid for it the whole match after, because as you saw it wasn't easy. So I'm just happy to win."

When asked about the prospect of negative crowd reactions moving forward, he added: "Tough question to answer because what I can say is that I'm working on myself, and hopefully I will be better next time."

He'll be a heavy favorite when he takes on Koepfer, who has already recorded a career-best major finish this year at Flushing Meadows.