Purely in terms of tournament sass, it was predictable Novak Djokovic would be booed off court after retiring from injury at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday night after once again deciding to graciously gift an opponent a win. The US Open is operating at Liberace levels of theatrics and is highly watchable for it.
Djokovic had already sworn at the crowd and threatened a spectator during one practice session. “I’ll come to find you after the match,” he glowered. “Trust me, I’ll come to find you.” Retweeting the footage, Nick Kyrgios added the words “I’m scared” and an emoji suggesting quite the opposite. When Djokovic was asked why he would be hunting down the spectator, he replied, his face deadpan: “To have a drink … I’m going to buy him a drink.”
So yes, if you are having trouble characterizing your tennis grand slams, this one is the messy bitch who lives for the drama. Think of the US Open as Real Househusbands of the PTA, with all the histrionics you would expect from the dignity-swerving reality franchise.
It is very much the only tournament at which Roger Federer could find himself saying “shit” in a press conference. “I have heard this shit too often now,” he exclaimed of the suggestion he picked his match times. Of course, if Roger is saying “shit”, you can be sure other players understand their responsibility to go a whole lot further. And in this spirit, it is the greatest pleasure to formally welcome a new rebel to the fold in the form of Daniil Medvedev, the Russian who has been goading the New York crowds with such relish.
At the end of Sunday’s win over Dominik Köpfer, which put him in the quarter-finals – and during which he had surreptitiously given the crowd the middle finger – Medvedev addressed booing spectators with sledgehammer sarcasm. “Thank you all, guys, because your energy tonight gave me the win,” he declared. “If you weren’t here, I probably would lose the match … I want all of you to know, when you sleep tonight, I won because of you.” The jeers became even louder. “Guys, continue to give me this energy,” Medvedev smirked. “You’re the best.” Whereupon a perfectly synchronized line of ballboys snapped their fingers and winced “Yasss! you better call the BURNS UNIT, girlfriend!” On Tuesday night, Medvedev went through to the semis.
“He is the bad boy of tennis,” judged Chrissie Evert. “I want to cook him a meal.” I think that is supposed to be way down the list of things you are meant to want to do with bad boys, Chrissie but I respect you too much to take this one further. Read More