You’ll never get bored with Daniil Medvedev
Arguments, explanations and sketches from an inimitable tennis player.
Daniil Medvedev, with that slightly similar face, that slightly similar expression that makes him one of the last people worth following in the tennis world. Daniil Medvedev recently sacrificed himself as a proud feast of indignation from the press and the internet (sic) together, for the sublime response to the gloomy French public at the Masters in Paris Bercy. After the defeat against Grigor Dimitrov, our player – who was completely outside the framework, especially of contemporary tennis, and never wanted to be a pimp to ingratiate himself with a single fan – had to spend the entire game with the uncouth catcalls, shouts and insults of his fans beat around the audience.
He left early, but accepted the delicious reward; As he took turns in the dressing room tunnel, he gave them (the grim audience) a majestic one Middle finger.
The explanation of the gesture (because outrage always needs explanations) became even more majestic in the press conference: “I just looked at my nails. Why on earth give the middle finger to the wonderful French audience?» and then conclude «I happened to play better here when the audience wasn’t there…».
But Daniil Medvedev is capable of more than just wild sarcasm. Daniil Medvedev is a real, sensitive, fragile and profound boy. He is unique and inimitable, both on and off the pitch. His facial features don’t lie: misshapen, very thin, huge head, unkempt beard and very disheveled, thin hair. And his attitude doesn’t lie either: he talks to you like a friend, in every press conference and every interview he seems to be among friends at the bar or on the pitch, without constructs or insulin-filled phrases.
Anger, fragility, irony, from the beginning Daniil showed himself naked to the world and almost the whole world only understood his nakedness, not his true nature: from the fight at the US Open 2019 with Feliciano Lopez to the Slam He revealed to the wider publicity (a tournament with whose, to say the least, rude audience he regularly quarrels with every year), his rivalry with Stefanos Tsitsipas, his arch-enemy and counterpart. Only with the Greek, Medvedev has waxed lyrical about his allergy to diplomacy. Tsitsipas is now a complete and finished character with his Manuel Fantoni pose and the ways to get out of trouble: from toilet breaks to constant dialogues with his father (nowadays, unfortunately, coaching is allowed), methods that Danil always used packed and returned to sender.
And if in Miami in 2018 Daniel speaks open to Stefanos: “Hey, Stefanos, do you want to look at me and talk? You go to the toilet for 5 minutes, then you don’t apologize for a net. Do you think you’re a good guy? Look at me, hey, look at me. Don’t you want to look at me?», in the semifinals of 2022, at the Australian Open, he does it with the unhappy and anxious referee (Jaume Campistol), who is guilty of not having called out the Greek once for his annoying behavior. Here the Russian reaches poetic heights: “Are you stupid?! Oh my god, you’re really terrible! How can you be so poor? in the semifinals of a Grand Slam? Can your father speak at some point? May? Answer my question? Watch me! I’m talking to you!», concluding with a moving message
“If you don’t warn him, you’re, how shall I put it, a kitten (kitten)”.
But a kitten, but not a coward in this case, Daniil was one too: kitten, child (in the most defenseless sense of the word). After losing in the Slam final, again against Nadal, in Australia in 2022, Daniil turns his press conference into a confession, in an outgoing outburst, perhaps even too much for the level of those around him. I am more sorry than for the defeat, once again for the cowardly behavior of the public. Daniil becomes a storyteller: “Today’s press conference will be a little different than usual because I want to tell you the story of a boy who started playing tennis at the age of 6 and had big dreams, those of all children who start playing this sport».
So he continues, disillusioned, like the best biographer of himself, and concludes with bitterness, so much bitterness: “I won’t tell you why, but during that match against Nadal I definitely stopped dreaming. From now on I will only play for myself, to support my family, for the people who love me and for all Russians, because when I play in Russia I always feel great support from the people. If there is a tournament in Russia, even if it means missing a Grand Slam tournament, I will rather play there than Roland Garros or Wimbledon. I’m disappointed at the lack of respect (the public, ed.)I’m angry and disappointed about this».
“The child who had big dreams is no longer in me today.” It will be difficult to continue playing tennis like this. The boy stopped dreamingthat’s all”.
No, that’s not all, because dreams start to come true for Daniil, he realizes that he can’t give up dreaming. The conflict erupts in Ukraine, revealing to the world the hypocrisy of much of the West. Daniil cannot give in and takes advantage perhaps one of the most beautiful words, in a sea of coffee cup explanations. «Remember what I said after the Australian Open final? It was a story that was all about me and my childhood dreams. Today I want to speak on behalf of all the children of the world“, he begins.
Then he continues: “Everyone has dreams, their life has just begun, many beautiful experiences lie ahead: the first friends, the first big feelings. Everything they hear and see is for the first time in their lives. That’s why I want to ask for peace in the world, peace between countries. Children are born with an inner trust in the world, they believe so much in everything: in people, in love, in security and justice, in their chances in life. Let’s stand together and show them it’s true because every child shouldn’t stop dreaming».
There is reason to be moved, there is reason to be moved, just as there is reason to laugh and smile at the challenges that link him to Novak Djokovic, challenges at the crossroads of their careers, one and the other. In 2022, at the US Open, Medvedev has the audacity to shatter the Serb’s hoped-for Grand Slam. «I’ve never said this about anyone before, for me you’re the best ever» He speaks sincerely to his defeated opponent and then like an ordinary boy: «Last but not least, today is the anniversary for me and my wife. During the tournament I didn’t know what to get her, and when I reached the semifinals I still didn’t have a gift, so I thought I would win. And that is my gift».
A poetic parade in a corner (or match point) to applause. But for Daniil, the wedding day also coincided with the last US Open. And the opponent also agreed: this time it was Novak who scored the last point, and the theater they set up at the end of the game The two of them are worth more than the meeting itself. Daniil remembers his anniversary gift from two years ago: “When I won, I thought what a lovely anniversary gift. Today, however, it sucks». And then Nole: «Congratulations on your wife’s anniversary. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Honestly, if I had known today was the anniversary, maybe, you know, the result would have been…».
Sublimate. Sublime like Novak’s endless career – that Paris Bercy won it, again, but also by arguing with the undisciplined French public. Sublime like the best Medvedev. Because the Russian actually remains the only possible and reliable candidate who can appear as a protagonist in the coming years. The only one for whom we hope a future as a protagonist. With that slightly similar face, that slightly similar expression, it will always be a joy to see him play, talk, rant, smile and scream. And if he wins less than he deserves, it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you do not leave us alone, in this tennis of machines, Italian and others, with which you would not even buy a discounted sofa.