Daniil Medvedev made his coach, Gilles Cervara, leave the Rod Laver Arena after one of his signature outbursts during a hard-fought win over Filip Krajinovic.
The fourth seed overcame a spirited challenge from the Serb to come through 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday.
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The 25-year-old extended his winning streak to 17 matches and it was a classic Medvedev performance with plenty of crafty rallies, precise winners and emotional flare-ups.
As a more aggressive Krajinovic took control of the match and won the third set, Medvedev looked more and more on the edge. He screamed at his coach in various languages, but at one changeover in the fourth set, the Russian roared, “Will you let me play? Let me play!”
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His coach was later seen leaving the stands.
In the post-match press conference, Medvedev was asked about the incident and if he started to play better after Cervara left the arena.
“Yeah, it for sure was connected,” the 2019 US Open finalist said.
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“I don’t know what was going through his head, but what he said is that he was sure I’m going to win, and he just wanted to leave me alone to be calm. As humans, we can have some frustrating moments because both of us wanted me to win.
“Him as a coach, me as a player, he wants me to win so he felt like that was the best thing to do. Sometimes maybe I will not be — I will disagree, but this time, yeah, for sure it was a good thing to do.
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“I’m sure it happens, I don’t know, once per year, two times per year maximum, maybe once in two years, but today it helped, and definitely we’re going to talk about it a little bit, but there is not a big deal.”
Medvedev will next take on American Mackenzie McDonald in the last 16 at Melbourne Park.
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Another Russian, Andrey Rublev, also made it to the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win over veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Saturday.