Russian rival offers reality check for dejected Medvedev
Aslan Karatsev commented after countryman Daniil Medvedev was upset by his treatment from fans at the Australian Open
Russian world number 15 Aslan Karatsev says countryman Daniil Medvedev shouldn’t expect support from the crowd when facing the likes of Rafael Nadal, after Medvedev was dejected by his treatment from fans in Melbourne.
Medvedev cut a melancholy figure after his five-set defeat to Nadal in an epic Australian Open final on Sunday, during which the Russian complained that fans at Rod Laver Arena were causing disruption between his first and second serve.
The 25-year-old complained to umpire John Blom about the unwanted distractions, saying those responsible had “empty brains.”
Earlier at the tournament, Medvedev had labeled the offending members of the crowd as “disrespectful” and having a “low IQ.”
In his post-match press conference after missing out on the chance of successive Grand Slam crowns, Medvedev suggested he might even shun future events at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon in favor of competing in front of home support in Moscow, lamenting that “the kid stopped dreaming” after recalling his rise through the ranks.
Russian rival Karatsev, who was a surprise semifinalist in Melbourne in 2021 but this year exited in the third round, said he empathized with Medvedev but added that players should always expect the crowd to be against them when facing icons such as the newly crowned 21-time Grand Slam king Nadal and fellow great Roger Federer.
“For me, it’s pretty normal. Nadal came back [from injury] after six months, so all the fans wanted to support him. Maybe in that moment, Medvedev was disappointed,” Karatsev was quoted as saying by the Indian media as he prepares to play at the Tata Maharashtra Open in Pune.
“He felt it was adding extra pressure against him. But after some period of time he will understand that he was playing against Rafael Nadal.
“It will be the same if he plays against Roger Federer. Everybody loves them,” added the 28-year-old Karatsev, who won the Davis Cup title as part of the Russian team alongside Medvedev in December.
“Especially because Rafa was injured and was coming back and playing in the final… It’s not nice when someone’s clapping in between first and second serves.
“I can understand because it has happened to me also. But you cannot do anything. You cannot tell the fans, ‘come on, support me’. It doesn’t make sense.”
Medvedev had expressed disappointment with the lack of support in Melbourne, claiming he had believed that fans would actively support the next generation in their bid to overthrow the ‘Big Three’ of Nadal, Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
“There was a lot of talk. I don’t think there is that much right now, but I remember there were a lot of talks, young generation should do better, or there were talks like people saying we really want young generation to go for it, to be better, to be stronger,” Medvedev said.
“I was like pumped up. ‘Yeah, let‘s try to give them hard time and everything’.
“Well, I guess these people were lying because, yeah, every time I stepped on the court in these big matches, I really didn’t see much people who wanted me to win,” bemoaned the big Russian.
READ MORE: Medvedev drops hint over future after Australian Open heartbreak (VIDEO)
After his Australian Open disappointment, world number two Medvedev is next scheduled to play at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, which gets underway on February 5 in the Dutch city.
Countryman Karatsev meanwhile is the top seed at the Maharashtra Open in India and opens his campaign against Sweden’s Elias Ymer on Thursday.