Daniil Medvedev has had a stellar start to his year. He reached the finals of the Australian Open, had a good outing at the Mexican Open as well, but the main highlight was him dethroning Novak Djokovic at the top of the standings to become the new World No.1.
Despite all the fame around him, the Russian is not a fan favorite and is often seen having a feud with the crowd. During the Australian Open final, as he absorbed the reality of losing the match to Rafael Nadal, he became crest-fallen over the lack of support he received. Even during his second-round match against home favorite Nick Kyrgios, the Russian slammed the crowd for being disrespectful and made a jibe saying they have ‘low IQ’. But perhaps the most telling point was when he said he would rather be playing in Russia rather than at Grand Slams clearly lamenting the lack of support for him compared to other top players.
His compatriot Andrey Rublev has weighed in his opinions about the incident. In an interview with Times of India, Rublev said one cannot give an outright view given Medvedev was the one facing the consequences of the situation. Although Rublev said it was evident that the majority would be cheering for Nadal as he was returning from a lengthy lay-off from a career-threatening injury and was competing for a historic 21st Grand Slam title.
“I don’t know what Daniil was feeling in that moment, you cannot judge someone when you haven’t been in that situation. Obviously, people were supporting Rafa more because he is Rafa -one of the greatest in the history of sport. He was playing for his 21st Grand Slam that’s why people were supporting him more,” he said.
‘There’s nothing you can do about this‘: Andrey Rublev on crowd mentality
However, Rublev remarked that nationality might have played a part. Rublev recalled how sometimes people have a rather cold behavior when they get to know he is Russian, compared to the contrast where they are friendly when they are oblivious over his nationality. But, the World No.6 added that he is unfazed by such situations as he can do nothing about them.
Maybe in some countries, when they know I’m Russian they are a bit like… I don’t know. I am relaxed with this. I know who I am and hopefully when people meet me and talk to me, they see that not everyone is like… I don’t know, whatever it is that they think. Sometimes I feel tension, energy in some countries. When they don’t know you are Russian, they are more friendly, but when they know you are Russian, they think you can be aggressive or something. There’s nothing you can do about this. I can be a good person and that’s it,” he added.