Daniil Medvedev happy to prove doubters wrong at US Open

Updated: Sep 08, 2019, 10:25 IST | AFP

The Russian secured a place in his first Grand Slam final Friday with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Grigor Dimitrov, setting Medvedev up with an instant shot at revenge for last month’s Montreal loss to Rafael Nadal

Daniil Medvedev happy to prove doubters wrong at US Open
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev has enjoyed silencing those who questioned his fiery temperament and wrote him off during his teenage years after a sizzling hardcourt season that has left him on the cusp of US Open glory.

The Russian secured a place in his first Grand Slam final Friday with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Grigor Dimitrov, setting Medvedev up with an instant shot at revenge for last month's Montreal loss to Rafael Nadal.

Medvedev is the first Russian in a men's Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open title and the first Russian to reach the US Open final since Safin won the 2000 crown.

However, his path to Sunday's championship match has been a rocky ride — embraced at first by Medvedev but one he is now keen to forget as he tries to shed his image as the wacky villain.

Booed by fans after an obscene gesture in the third round, Medvedev taunted them in response by saying he thrived on their jeers for the energy to win. He later apologised and admitted it has been a long road to clean up his act.

"There were many who would say, coaches or something, at the age of 16 or 14, I could get engaged during the match because I thought they clapped on a double-fault or something. I would scream at them. They would scream at me," Medvedev recalled of his younger years.

"Many of these people would say, 'Okay, the guy is completely crazy, he's never be a good tennis player.' Which is maybe happened to some of the tennis players. I'm glad I proved them wrong.

"Talk about reactions, they were totally different. Some wanted to just help me get better. Some, as I say, said, 'OK, who is this crazy guy and what is he doing on the tennis court?' I've improved big-time. Hopefully, I will improve even more."

Did you know?

Medvedev has won all four of his ATP Tour titles on hard court and owns his best winning percentage (66%) of the three surfaces on it.

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