Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev was disqualified from the Savannah Challenger tournament in the US after he made comments regarding the impartiality of the umpire, Sande French, based on her race. Medvedev, aged 20, was playing against American player Donald Young in the second-round match.
The incident occurred when Medvedev was trailing 3-1 in the first set but leading 15-40 on Young’s serve, and believed that he had won a point, to which the umpire ruled otherwise.
It was followed by French telling them to resume the game, Medvedev exchanged words with the official while walking back to the baseline which was captured on the microphone.
“I know that you are friends. I am sure about it”.-Daniil Medvedev during the match
These comments from the Russian tennis player seemingly referred to French and Young, both of African-American ancestry.
After a discussion with the tournament supervisor Keith Crossland, he appeared to agree to award the match to Young through an unsportsmanlike default against Medvedev. French announced the decision to the crowd, declaring Young the winner.
“Unsportsmanlike conduct. Default Medvedev. Game, Set. Match. Young.4-1. Default.”-Sande French during the match
The USTA later confirmed Medvedev’s disqualification for racist comments, although speculations arose that his remarks were worse than what was captured on video.
Commentator Mike Cation expressed surprise at the default, stating that he did not witness any behavior deserving of such action.
“I wish we’d picked up what Medvedev said because it must have been pretty bad.”-Match commentator Mike Cation on the incident
Daniil Medvedev’s Australian Open dream continues for the third time
Daniil Medvedev, determined to clinch the title at the Australian Open after two previous runners-up finishes, displayed resilience in his semifinal match against Alexander Zverev.
Overcoming a two-set deficit, Medvedev fought back to win 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, and is set to face Jannik Sinner in the final. Reflecting on the final, Medvedev mentioned hoping to get third-time lucky in Melbourne during his post-match interview.
“Well, first of all, we say third time lucky, so let’s see. I can say by experience, it’s not always like this, but hopefully here it works.”-Daniil Medvedev during the post match interview
He also mentioned that winning the title would make him the happiest man on the planet as he feels that he has not been at his best for a long time in this tournament.
“It will mean a lot. Because I would say this court is not my best court in terms of my performance and my actual self-esteem, I would say on the court and that’s why many times I had to dig deep during this tournament. So, I’m gonna be the happiest man on the planet.”-Daniil Medvedev during the post match interview