Daniil Medvedev expressed regret at his mid-match collapse in his Australian Open semi-final victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, admitting: “I just lost it.”
Medvedev’s 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 success means he will play for a second consecutive Grand Slam title after his first US Open win last summer when he took on Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
It is also the second year in a row that he has reached the final at Melbourne Park, having lost to Novak Djokovic 12 months ago.
But much of the attention will be focused on Medvedev’s extraordinary tirade against the referee late in the second set, when he accused Tsitsipas of receiving coaching from his father Apostolos.
After double faulting to lose serve for a 5-4 loss and receiving a warning for visible obscenity from referee Jaume Campistol, Medvedev began yelling at the referee.
“Your father can talk about all points,” the Russian yelled. “Are you stupid? I’m talking to you, look at me. How can you be so bad in the semifinal of a Grand Slam?
After Tsitsipas secured the set, Medvedev had more words with Campistol regarding his coaching complaints, ending by calling the referee a “little cat.”
“I think we can say it was fun, but it was definitely crazy,” Medvedev said later.
“I wasn’t controlling myself anymore about anything, and that’s why I’m very happy to win, because in a lot of matches like this I would continue just to make mistakes, because you lose concentration a lot when you’re in this heat. -Things of the moment.
“The next game, 15-40, I started terrible. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m completely losing the grain of this match.’ I’m so happy I managed to catch him really quickly.”
The list of games in which Medvedev has lost his cool is long, and the 25-year-old insisted it is something he is trying to improve.
“I regret it all the time because I don’t think it’s nice,” he said. “I know that every referee is trying to do the best they can.
“But tennis, we don’t fight with our fists, but tennis is a fight. It is a one on one against another player. So I’m actually very respectful of players who almost never show their emotions because it’s difficult. I can get very emotional. I’ve been working on it.
“So many, many games, I manage it. I think if we look at each other five years ago when I started playing, they paid less attention to me, but I was crazy crazy. So I’m 100 percent sorry but, in the heat of the moment, I lost it.”
Tsitsipas Senior has been warned repeatedly for coaching, and was also warned later in this match after a Greek-speaking referee positioned himself under his box.
His son insists he doesn’t listen to any coaching advice during a game, but said: “My father, he’s a person who when he gets into something when there’s a lot of action, his medicine is to talk, and you can’t.” for. It is something that nature does.
“I’ve talked to him about it. I’ve tried, I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure it out with him, but it’s part of him.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to get coaching infractions, though I’ll never listen to anything he says. But it’s okay, they can do it if they want, if they think it’s okay.”
An added dimension to the clash was that there is bad blood between Medvedev and Tsitsipas dating back to a fierce clash in Miami four years ago and exacerbated by their very different characters.
When asked about Medvedev’s tirade, Tsitsipas couldn’t suppress a smile, saying: “It sure is funny. I don’t pay attention I know players like to do these things to throw you off mentally. Could be maybe a tactic. Everything is fine. He’s not the most mature person anyway.”
This was their ninth meeting and second in a row in the semis here, with Medvedev winning handily 12 months ago after Tsitsipas’ big win over Nadal.
The Greek entered the tournament with doubts about his fitness following elbow surgery, but was in top form against Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals, while Medvedev survived an all-powerful fight against Felix Auger-Aliassime, recovering from two sets. down and saving a decisive point.
There was almost nothing to choose between them in a high-quality first set, but it was Medvedev who came from 4-1 down to win the tie-break.
The crucial moments came in the third, first when Medvedev saved both break points in the first game and then when he broke Tsitsipas in the final game before the Greek’s resistance faded completely.