Why ‘Siu!’ is the thing to do – Medvedev riled by rowdy crowd as he rolls to third round with Kyrgios win
The world No 2 was angry with the crowd but pleased with his own performance as he beat Nick Kyrgios in four sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open
The showman against the pantomime villain, two unconventional tennis stars with offbeat senses of humour, neither particularly bothered about endearing himself to the establishment.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios might have had his compatriots in the crowd behind him on a rowdy Rod Laver Arena, but it was Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev who reached the third round of the 2022 Australian Open, winning 7-6(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
“I came to win this match and I’m happy I was able to do it,” said Medvedev on court to interviewer Jim Courier afterwards.
Medvedev – Everybody is doing it!
Clearly riled by the crowd’s adoption of the Cristiano Ronaldo celebratory “Siu!” holler, the Russian mentioned how distracting it was to hear between first and second serve – which triggered more shouts of it, despite Courier trying to ameliorate the situation by explaining that it wasn’t booing. In response, Medvedev urged them to at least have some respect for Courier, if not for him.
He then departed the court by writing: “Siuuuu!” on the camera lens.
“I have never been to a match with Cristiano so I don’t know if they are trying to do like what Cristiano is doing after the match or if people on the stadium do it, because when you watch on TV there are commentators, so I cannot really hear it,” he explained in his post-match press conference. “So it can be funny to know. I actually wrote ‘Siuu’ in the camera afterwards because when Jim on the court started talking about this, I was like, ‘Well, OK, I’m going to write it then because everybody is doing it, so I guess that’s the thing to do.'”
Medvedev did admit, however, that the noise would contribute towards a compelling spectacle, saying that if he had watched it on the television, he would think: “Wow, that’s a great atmosphere for a tennis match.”
Kyrgios – ‘Embrace some different energy’
Kyrgios put on the usual display, including a fourth-set racquet smash, and even when asked about the crowd noise, still managed to get in a dig at the match officiating, which he evidently thought was too tough on him. Indeed, he descibed himself as “the most entertaining player”.
“I told the umpire – I also said that in my match against Broady that obviously the media didn’t pick up – but I said, ‘You should tell the crowd not to scream out before, whether it’s me – I don’t really care honestly too much if it’s my serve, obviously big points, no, but if it’s like 40-0, one up – I told the umpire, ‘Tell the crowd to quiet down.’ My opponent might not like that.
“I think it’s actually the umpire’s job to control the crowd rather than try to be the star, because no one came to watch the umpire play tennis. That’s his job to control the crowd and monitor it. Like, a bit of common sense at times, giving someone a time violation at 0-40 down is probably not controlling the crowd. There are other things you could be doing in monitoring.
“I thought the atmosphere was awesome. I thought the crowd was – like, that’s what sport is. You’ve got, like, you know, the most entertaining player playing in his home slam on Rod Laver. You’d expect the crowd to be like that. I can understand it’s a gentleman’s game, but it’s about time that people embraced some sort of different energy in this sport otherwise it will die out. It’s just that simple.”
Medvedev – What’s happened doesn’t matter
But even Kyrgios could not begrudge some praise thrown Medvedev’s way.
“Every game he doesn’t drop his level, he shows up every game, plays — I think no matter what the score is or how much pressure he’s under, he never gets flustered. He just has so much belief in his game. I think he led the tour in wins last year. He’s just so confident right now.
“To be honest, I threw everything I could at him.”
When Medvedev heard of his opponent’s compliments, he accepted them graciously.
“It’s nice to hear this, because Nick is, I think, a good guy outside the court,” he said. “On the court he’s an entertainer. It doesn’t mean he’s bad. But, yeah, it’s a big show, so I tried really to stay focused on myself during the match. He was even saying, like, ‘Good shot, Good serve.’ I was like, ‘Doesn’t matter. I have to do the next one. I don’t care about the last one.'”
On to the next one, then, for Medvedev, who will now face Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round as he chases a second Grand Slam title – and perhaps, with no Novak Djokovic in Melbourne to defend his points as champion, even the world No 1 ranking.