Daniil Medvedev’s French Open campaign came to an end on Tuesday with an ill-judged underarm serve on match point followed by an impassioned outburst over his eagerly-awaited showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas being played inside an empty stadium.
Medvedev had never won a match at Roland Garros in four attempts before this year.
So winning four matches in one visit was progress even if he was dismayed that his match was selected for the penultimate evening session.
It was played inside an empty Court Philippe Chatrier as spectators were banned under a 9pm Covid-19 curfew.
This year’s French Open is staging evening sessions for the first time under a broadcast agreement with streaming giant Amazon.
“It was without a doubt the match of the day but Roland Garros preferred Amazon to people,” said Medvedev.
He compared the situation to the Formula One world championship when the 2020 Australian Grand Prix was set to take place in Melbourne even though there had been a Covid-19 outbreak in the paddock.
The race was eventually cancelled.
“Yesterday I started the third season of (Netflix documentary series) ‘Drive to Survive’ and there’s an episode called ‘Cash Is King’,” added Medvedev.
“They were in Australia ready to race, and they asked Lewis Hamilton what he thinks about racing in the conditions the world was in right now, and he said, I don’t know what we are doing here.
“And so they asked him, Why do you think they make you race? And he said, ‘Cash is King.’ It was the same here.”
Tsitsipas now has the most wins on the ATP tour this season (38) and won clay court titles at Monte Carlo and Lyon.
He will be playing in a third successive Grand Slam semi-final.
Medvedev, the 2019 US Open runner-up and this year’s Australian Open finalist, suffered his first quarter-final loss at a major.
(With AFP inputs)
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