Emotions seemed to get the better of Daniil Medvedev during a recent tennis match at the Paris Masters.
Medvedev, seeded third, lost to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday.
At one point during the long match, Medvedev could be heard making threats against the crowd in Paris. He seemed frustrated by the whistling.
Medvedev was outraged by the noise and the Russian responded by raising his middle finger.
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The crowd appeared to start whistling during the second set after Medvedev threw his racket as Dimitrov rallied.
“I’m not going to play when they blow the whistle,” Medvedev shouted at the referee. The official then gave Medvedev some advice on how to counter spectator noise.
“The more we stop, the more it annoys them, the more they whistle,” said the referee.
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Medvedev doubled down and gave instructions to the crowd.
“They are stupid. If they don’t whistle, I will play,” Medvedev replied before telling the spectators: “I’m playing, guys, but keep your mouth shut, okay?”
Medvedev then appeared to give the finger to supporters in the stands. The referee issued a warning for a time violation before play resumed.
The Russian tried to explain his reaction in a post-match press conference.
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“When I throw my racket, I have the right to be whistled. It’s a bad reaction,” Medvedev said. “On the other hand, if I serve, and they whistle and applaud at the same time, it’s a little weird.
“It’s the Bercy audience. Everyone knows it. Not everyone likes to play here. I played much better at Bercy when there was no one there,” he said in reference about playing at the sports complex during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here, with me, it doesn’t connect. I’ll come back and try to do my best.”
Medvedev played down the idea that he had intentionally made the obscene gesture towards the crowd, saying: “I was looking at my nail. How could I do that in front of the friendly crowd at Paris-Bercy?”
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Dimitrov beat Medvedev 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 on Wednesday.