Australian Open: The rivalry between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas continues in Melbourne

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev tussled in a heated match at the 2018 Miami Open and the rivalry – fueled by their exciting talent on the court and their contrasting personalities – has continued ever since.
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While all sports thrive on gripping rivalries, the future of men’s tennis looks to have an exciting future with Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The pair have a long and fraught relationship, and while there is respect and cordiality, an element of drama always emerges when they meet.

Russian second seed Medvedev beat fourth seed Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 in their Australian Open semi-final on Friday.

It is the second year in a row that Medvedev has beaten Tsitsipas in the last four in Melbourne, extending his dominating record over the Greek to seven wins in nine career encounters.

The first three sets were high quality, filled with thrilling rallies as each player tried to gain the upper hand.

But attention also turned to a dramatic outburst from Medvedev, who complained that his opponent was receiving on-court coaching – which is not allowed – from his father Apostolos.

“I was not coached,” insisted Tsitsipas. “It’s funny. I don’t pay attention to stuff.

“I know players like to do that kind of stuff to throw you off mentally. Maybe that could be a tactic. It’s okay. He’s not the most mature person anyway.”

Tsitsipas, 23, played at a high level in the first two sets, with Medvedev ranting against referee Jaume Campistol on the changeover after dropping serve to lose 5-4 in the second set.

Medvedev demanded that the official issue a code violation to Tsitsipas, saying he believed his opponent could have followed his father’s instructions in Greek.

Afterwards, Medvedev said he was not accusing Tsitsipas of cheating.

“Not at all,” Medvedev said. “I broke, I got a little pissed off. I thought the referee could do a little better with the crowd, just to say, ‘Silence, please’.

“Before each return, his dad spoke Greek. I don’t know what his dad is saying. Maybe he’s just saying, ‘Let’s go, next point.’ has no problem with that.

“But he says something in Greek right before I come back, and I even feel like he’s telling him where to serve. I don’t know. I don’t know Greek.”

Daniel Medvedev
Medvedev called the referee a ‘little cat’ for not penalizing Tsitsipas at the end of the second set

After airing his grievances and surviving break points in the opener of the third set, Medvedev settled back into the game.

He regained the lead in what turned out to be the last game of the third with his first break opportunity of the set.

At the start of the fourth set, Greek referee Eva Asderaki-Moore was positioned under where Tsitsipas’ coaching staff was seated. Moments later, Campistol issued a violation code for field training.

From that point at 1-1, Tsitsipas did not win another game as he quickly passed out.

Afterwards, Tsitsipas said he felt unfairly targeted by the referees because of his reputation.

“I’m used to it. I feel like I’ve had a few in the past, and the referees always pay attention to my box, never paying attention to the opponent’s box,” he said. he declared.

“I feel like I’ve been a victim for a long time.

“I don’t think the referees will ever understand that I can’t hear anything when I’m playing.”

Medvedev stressed his complaints were ‘nothing against Stefanos’, while Tsitsipas called his opponent a ‘great competitor’ and said he respected the way the Russian could run ‘like a marathon runner’.

Although Tsitsipas added that he was unsure of the durability of this style – pointing to the “huge impact” it had on the bodies of other Grand Slam champions – it seems the pair are destined to a long, tense and entertaining rivalry.

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