Daniil Medvedev has dropped out of contention for the year-end world No.1 ranking by losing to Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters before he was then booed off the court for remonstrating with the crowd during the match.
The French crowd got under Medvedev’s skin in the 11th game of the second set during Wednesday’s (Thursday AEDT) second-round match, jeering him as he was about to serve after he had thrown his racquet.
The Russian went back to his chair and complained to the referee before talking directly to the spectators in French.
“If there’s one who whistles, I don’t’ play,” Medvedev told the crowd. “You don’t whistle, I play. So, you shut your mouths.”
From that moment, the crowd overwhelmingly threw their support behind Dimitrov, and Medvedev appeared to make a rude hand gesture toward some spectators as he walked off the court after the loss.
“I play in Bercy much better when there is no crowd at all in attendance,” Medvedev joked at his news conference, referring to winning the Paris Masters title in 2020 during the pandemic in an empty arena. “That’s the only time I won the tournament.”
Dimitrov lost to Medvedev in the second round of the Vienna Open in Austria last week, but the Bulgarian hit 45 winners on Wednesday compared to 22 for the Russian, who also double-faulted eight times.
Dimitrov whipped a forehand passing shot to break for a 4-2 lead in the final set but he failed to serve out the match at 5-3 as Medvedev saved four match points, including one 47-shot rally.
Medvedev saved two more match points on his serve at 6-5 but Dimitrov jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the decisive tiebreaker and converted his seventh match point with a forehand volley.
That leaves No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz as the only player who can overtake Novak Djokovic as No.1 at the end of the season, but the Spaniard’s chances also took a hit when he lost to qualifier Roman Safiullin on Tuesday.