Alex de Minaur has once again showcased his fighting quality to come from behind and defeat Dusan Lajovic in Paris, but the day was overshadowed with Daniil Medvedev's controversial act after his loss. The 24-year-old Australian still has a small opportunity to reach the ATP Finals, but it all appeared dim when he went a set down to the veteran Serbian.
But de Minaur roared back after dropping the first set and his hope of playing tennis at the year-end event remains alive. The World No.13 needs to do what he hasn't achieved before and reach the final in Paris to have any chance of overtaking Holger Rune and reaching the top-eight.
And just as he did against Andy Murray in the opening round in a three-hour battle, de Minaur prevailed once again in a two hour and 11 minute contest. Lajovic was a lucky loser coming into Paris and had never pushed the Australian in their previous two meetings.
However, the Australian didn't find his rhythm until the second set, which saw him reel off 12 straight points. Two breaks of serve in the deciding set meant de Minaur will feature in the round of 16 as he holds out for an unlikely Race to Turin shock.
De Minaur's opponent in the next round will be either the in-form Jannik Sinner or American Mackenzie McDonald. The 24-year-old will face a tough task if Italian Sinner gets through the round of 16 with the Aussie having lost all five of their previous meetings. This included the Canadian Open final, which was de Minaur's best run at a Masters 1000 event.
While de Minaur's resistance stopped an upset, World No.3 Medvedev was left frustrated and angry with the Paris crowd as he lost to Grigor Dimitrov.
Daniil Medvedev called out over middle finger gesture
The Russian and Bulgarian put on another three-set thriller for the audience, but the crowd took exception to Medvedev's antics during the match. Medvedev was clearly frustrated to have lost and copped plenty of boos during the contest. And when walking off court, Medvedev appeared to put his middle finger up as he looked at his hand.
The Russian explained his frustration after the match. "What happened is I threw the racquet. That is normal, I don't see a problem with that. Then I go to serve, they applaud. But I want to serve," he said in his post-match press conference.
"I still serve, the referee was talking and Grigor Dimitrov was not ready. OK, that happens. But then I get booed. I don't see why and I didn't want to play. The Bercy crowd doesn't stop."
Medvedev admitted that when he got a code violation he didn't want to finish the match on a bad note, so he finished. When asked about whether he gave the middle finger to the crowd, Medvedev quipped: "Middle finger? No. I was looking at my nail. Why would I do that to this beautiful Parisian crowd."
Tennis fans reacted to Medvedev's actions with the Paris crowd certainly drawing the ire of tennis viewers.
Daniil Medvedev was asked if he was giving the middle finger to the crowd:
“Middle finger? No. I was looking at my nail. Why would I do that to this beautiful Parisian crowd?” 😂
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) November 1, 2023
There's something naturally comical about Medvedev, even when he's being offensive. He's like tennis's Mr Bean https://t.co/JxBwvGV5d0
— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) November 1, 2023
Lol at the Bercy crowd booing Medvedev after this incredible battle...
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) November 1, 2023
Medvedev vs the Paris crowd again 😭 pic.twitter.com/GG2a8Gsfmw
— zah pasta (@zahirahmdzaman) November 1, 2023
Sure looks like Daniil Medvedev just gave the crowd in Paris the middle finger in response to some boos as he left the court😂 pic.twitter.com/uvjJJRg4SP
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) November 1, 2023
French crowd is very disrespectful, not nice 👎
— Francine (@francineper1) November 1, 2023
You deserve each other🤣🤣🤣
— tennis racket 🎾 (@breathtennis) November 1, 2023
Dimitrov has enjoyed a renaissance in his career of late having defeated World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in Shanghai, Holger Rune and now Medvedev in Paris.
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