MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan 28 – Daniil Medvedev bizarrely described the chair umpire in his Australian Open semi-final as ‘a small cat’ during a furious rant in which he accused Stefanos Tsitsipas’s father of illegally coaching from the stands.
The Russian world No 2 was 5-4 down in the second set in Melbourne, having won the first, when he went into meltdown at the umpire Jaume Campistol between games.
Medvedev was angry that Apostolos Tsitsipas, part of his opponent’s coaching team, was allegedly passing on instructions to his son from his seat in the Rod Laver Arena.
But despite the outburst, Medvedev defeated Tsitsipas in four sets and will face Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s Australian Open final.
He yelled at the umpire: ‘His father can talk every point? Are you stupid? His father can talk every point?’
Then raising his voice, Medvedev shouted: ‘His father can talk every point? Answer my question, will you answer my question?
‘Can you answer my question please? Can his father talk every point?
Oh my God, oh my God, you are so bad, man. How can you be so bad in the semi-final of a Grand Slam? Look at me, I am taking to you.’
At this point, Campistol turns around the acknowledged the ranting Medvedev and asks ‘what do you want?’
Medvedev replies: ‘To give him a caution because his father is talking to him.’
Campistol makes nothing of the request and calls ‘time’ for the players to return to the court.
The row continued after Medvedev walked off court for a comfort break at the end of the second set as he described the umpire as ‘a small cat’.
He said: ‘If you don’t [issue a code violation], you are… how can I call it… a small cat.’
Members of a players’ team are not permitted to coach or issue instructions from the sidelines during matches and Tsitsipas received a code violation during both his third round win over Benoit Paire and in the fourth round against Taylor Fritz.
Tsitsipas was duly handed a code violation in the fourth set following something of a sting operation by the umpires.
Umpire Eva Asderaki-Moore, who understands Greek, positioned herself beneath the seats where the Tsitsipas camp were sitting and gave a signal to Campistol to deduct a point.
It isn’t Medvedev’s first rant of the Australian Open. He blasted the Melbourne crowd for booing him during his second round win over Australian Nick Kyrgios and questioned their intelligence.
‘It’s not anger, it’s a little bit disappointing. I suppose it’s normal especially when you play a home favourite and not just the home favourite but Nick,’ he told Eurosport.
‘I had a break point, second serve, and people are cheering like I’ve already made a double fault. And that’s just disappointing because it’s not everybody who is doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.’