Diego Schwartzman, in a recent interview, has opened up on his relationship with fellow player Daniil Medvedev and why he doesn’t greet the temperamental Russian anymore.
Schwartzman and Medvedev had a bust-up during the ATP Cup in January, which the latter eventually won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The Russian, disregarding all tennis etiquette, celebrated Schwartzman’s double fault, which gave him a triple set point at 5-4 in the opening set.
On winning the set with a backhand passing shot, Medvedev again looked at Schwartzman and the Argentine bench and celebrated vehemently.
“He wins the set 6-4, looking at me and looking at the Argentine bank. And I said, ‘this is a moron,’” the 28-year-old Argentine told Spanish publication puntodebreak.com.
“I started to tell him that he was a fool, in the face. I insulted him and he looked at me justifying himself with what happened. In football, it is as if they score a goal and celebrate you in the face and in your fans.”
As the players returned to their benches at the end of the set, Medvedev again tried to goad Schwartzman into an argument and the two had to be separated by chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani. The Russian received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for his behavior.
Medvedev belatedly protested the warning in the second set and got into a confrontation with Lahyani. He even smacked his racquet on the umpire’s chair, twice, for which he picked up another code violation and a point penalty.
“Later the Russian captain, (Marat) Safin, apologized to me and he told me ‘he’s half crazy, I don’t understand why he did it’,” Schwartzman added.
The Argentine, who broke into the top-10 for the first time in his career after making the French Open semi-finals this month, said that the episode had left a bitter taste in the mouth.
“I don’t greet Medvedev anymore,” he said.
“I had a good relationship with him. There are times in competition where you can warm up and then ask for forgiveness. Your blood can rise to your head. But if he does that to me, that’s it. I don’t train more with him, and I don’t greet him.”
As talented as the 24-year-old Russian is, he has often rubbed players and officials the wrong way. He was once made to default a match because he made racist remarks at an umpire, hinting that he and Medvedev’s opponent in the match, Donald Young, were friends because they were both African-American.
At 2017 Wimbledon, Medvedev threw coins at an umpire after his second round defeat to Ruben Bemelmans, which saw a lot of controversial calls.