Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev has previously assumed the role of villain at the US Open, and this year’s tournament is no different.
During his second round victory over Christopher O’Connell, which ended in the early morning hours on Friday, Medvedev did not shy away from engaging with the crowd that was seemingly rooting against him.
After easily claiming the first two sets 6-2, 6-2, O’Connell began a comeback that left the 2021 US Open champion feeling more than a little frustrated as the pair headed into the fourth set.
While sitting on his bench before resuming the match, Medvedev appeared to shove a camera that approached him, according to the New York Post.
He then turned his attention to the crowd during the set as they attempted to rattle him during his serve.
“Can you shut up?” he said looking toward the crowd. “Are you stupid or what?”
The broadcast then panned over to a fan, who then blew a kiss at Medvedev before sitting back down.
He would go on to win the match and continue his back-and-forth with the crowd.
Thursday night’s interaction seemed much calmer than in his infamous on-court interview following his third-round victory at the 2019 US Open, when the crowd was similarly against him.
“Thank you all guys because your energy tonight gave me the win. Because if you weren’t here, guys, I would probably lose the match because I was so tired. I was cramping yesterday. It was so tough on me to play. So I want all you to know when you sleep tonight, I won today because of you,” he said, as the fans vigorously booed him.
“The energy you’ve given 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 you guys. Thank you.”
Medvedev advances to the third round at the US Open for the sixth consecutive year when he will take on the unseeded Sebastian Baez, and likely another lively crowd.