Daniil Medvedev stated that he did not raise his middle finger to the audience despite being booed during his loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters.
In the round of 32, the Russian player lost with a score of 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2). He even took a break from playing during the second set due to the boos from the crowd inside the Accor Arena. This led to a dispute with the umpire, Renaud Lichtenstein, when he was issued a time violation.
The third-ranked player stated that he did not wish to continue playing, but was aware that he could be disqualified from the match if he refused. The controversy began in the second set when, with the score tied at 5-5, the 27-year-old received boos from the audience in Paris after tossing his racket while preparing to serve.
Medvedev signaled for the audience to quiet down and returned to his seat in defiance, informing the umpire that he would not continue playing until the noise ceased. As a result, Medvedev was given a time violation for disrupting the game. Dimitrov fought hard to secure a victory in three sets, despite losing six match points, finally defeating his opponent on the seventh and moving on to the round of 16.
Medvedev was met with additional negative reaction from the audience as he left the court and it seemed as though he made an offensive gesture towards them, though he denied this later on. During a media briefing, he stated, “I was simply checking my nails, like this. It was nothing more than that. Why would I deliberately offend this wonderful crowd in Paris Bercy?”
“I received negative reactions from the audience after throwing my racket, which is expected. I don’t see an issue with that. However, when I went to serve, the audience began applauding, which was distracting. I proceeded to serve, but the referee was talking and my opponent, Grigor, was not ready. These things happen, but I was still booed and I didn’t understand why. This caused me to not want to continue playing, and that’s the end of the situation.”
“I had decided that I wouldn’t play until the crowd at Bercy stopped booing. However, they continued to boo and when I received a code violation, I had to rethink if I wanted to risk getting disqualified and end the match on a negative note. Ultimately, I chose to continue playing.”