After an energy-sapping Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev told an emotional story about the ‘kid who stopped dreaming.’
The Russian, who has had a love-hate relationship with the Melbourne crowd, was left deflated by the fans’ one-sided support for the Spaniard.
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After winning the first two sets, Medvedev went down 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 4-6, 5-7. For most of the five-hour contest, the Russian was made to feel like a villain in Nadal’s march towards history.
During the press conference, in an emotional monologue, the Russian described his rise in the sport, right from the junior days. And opened up about the few moments that made him doubt his path.
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“I’m just talking about few moments where the kid stopped dreaming, and today was one of them,” said Medvedev, who would have risen to World no 1 had he won the Australian Open.
“From now on I’m playing for myself, for my family, to provide my family, for people that trust in me, of course for all the Russians because I feel a lot of support there.
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“I’m going to say it like this. If there is a tournament on hard courts in Moscow, before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I’m going to go there even if I miss the Wimbledon or Roland Garros or whatever. The kid stopped dreaming. The kid is going to play for himself.”
Medvedev was also unhappy about shouts from spectators as he was about to serve.
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“It’s disappointing and it’s disrespectful,” he said, while bemoaning that fans often don’t get behind him when he plays one of the sports’ legends like Nadal.
“When I also started to get just a little bit higher like top 20 top 30 you know start to play Novak Roger Rafa, we made some tough matches, I haven’t beat them yet and there was a lot of talks like ‘young generation should do better’ or like people saying ‘we really want young generation to go for it to to be better to be stronger’ and I was like pumped up I was like ‘yeah let’s try you know to to give them hard time’ and everything,” said the 2021 US Open champion.
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“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.
“It’s a cumulative thing but tonight was uh like, how you call it, like the top of the mountain.”
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Medvedev insisted Sunday he was not disappointed to give up a two-set lead and lose the Australian Open, while heaping praise on “unreal” Nadal.