Australian Open: Shades of Jimmy Connors in Daniil Medvedev court-ship
Daniil Medvedev has tapped into the energy of the crowd at Melbourne Park by playing both hero and villain, while the world No. 2’s mind games have also earned him comparisons with American great Jimmy Connors.
Similar to his run to the US Open final in 2019, where the Russian antagonised fans at Flushing Meadows early on before ultimately winning them over, Medvedev has engaged with crowds at the Australian Open in his four victories so far.
The 25-year-old, who plays Felix Auger-Aliassime in a quarter-final match on Wednesday, criticised fans for emulating Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous “Siuuu!” goal celebration during a match and later said some had a “low IQ”.
But after his third-round triumph over Botic van de Zandschulp, the US Open champion was trying to win them over once again. “Every good relationship must have its ups and downs, so I think it’s good, it’s entertaining, and I think it’s real. There is some relationship going on,” he said.
Roger Rasheed, who has coached players such as Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils and Grigor Dimitrov, said crowds liked that Medvedev spoke his mind, a trait which Swedish great Mats Wilander said the Russian shared with Connors.
Medvedev’s description of fourth-round opponent Maxime Cressy’s style as “so boring” was similar to the way Connors used to provoke opponents, added Wilander, a three-time Australian Open champion.