Russian villain’s coach storms out

Russian number five seed Daniil Medvedev has gained a reputation as the villain of the ATP tour thanks to his antics over the past 12 months.

At the 2019 US Open he snapped at a ball boy before flipping off the crowd, then during the ATP Cup in Australia a bitter feud broke out between the Russian and Argentinian star Diego Schwartzman.

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But on Friday it wasn’t his ongoing beef with the crowd or another player that stole the limelight, isn’t it was his coach who wasn’t impressed with his attitude against Jannik Sinner in the second round of the Open 13.

The top-seeded Medvedev rallied to beat the 18-year-old Italian 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the quarterfinals, but his performance in the first set exasperated coach Gilles Cervara so much he left the team box.

“When I see Daniil with that kind of attitude, that energy during the first set, crying over all the lost points, it annoys me,” Cervara told sports daily L’Equipe.

“I told myself, ‘He has to react. Either it’s him or it’s me.’ It was me. I didn’t want to support that behaviour at that point, knowing that if he carried on like that he was heading straight into a wall.”

Slow start, strong [email protected] comes back to beat Sinner 1-6 6-1 6-2 in Marseille pic.twitter.com/ArYrlfD2nu

Medvedev, who launched an astonishing comeback in last year’s U.S. Open final before losing to Rafael Nadal in the fifth set, also had a temper tantrum at the year-ending ATP Finals in November.

He led Nadal 5-1 with match point in the third set of their round-robin match before capitulating, remonstrating wild-eyed to his box, ranting at himself, and theatrically swishing his racket through the air in anger as victory slipped away.

“At some point, there are things which are not consistent with his level and his age,” Cervara said of the fifth-ranked Russian, who won two Masters tournaments and four titles overall in a breakthrough 2019 season.

Cervara said he hoped that by walking away this time, it would sting Medvedev into action.

“I secretly hoped it would make him react,” Cervara said. “I didn’t want to wait any longer … I remember once in Cincinnati where we shouted at each other on the side of the court. This time, I just got up.” The 24-year-old Medvedev would not have blamed Cervara if he’d gone back to the hotel.

Medvedev is prone to the odd temper tantrum.Source:Getty Images

“With my behaviour on the court, even if my entire box had left I would have said ‘OK.’ He was right,” said Medvedev, who has seven career titles.

“At the same time, it enabled me to get my good energy back. Because afterwards I didn’t say a word.”

He’ll take on French veteran Gilles Simon, who won their two previous meetings, in the next round.

Simon advanced with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win against Aljaz Bedene. Fourth-seeded Denis Shapovalov hit 17 aces in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win against hard-hitting Croat Marin Cilic. The 20-year-old Canadian next plays Alexander Bublik.

Shapovalov’s 19-year-old countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime saved three match points in a 6-0, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (9) win against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Auger-Aliassime, who saved two match points in the first round, next plays Egor Gerasimov. The qualifier from Belarus upset No. 3 David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (5). Vasek Pospisil was already through to the quarterfinals, where he faces No. 2 and defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

It’s the first time three Canadians have reached the last eight of an ATP Tour event since 1990

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