The crowd in New York was pumping but plenty of angry tennis thoughts thought it took things too far with some “shameful” behaviour.
Tennis fans slammed the behaviour of the New York crowd as spectators came under fire for disrespecting Daniil Medvedev during Monday’s US Open final.
Medvedev denied Novak Djokovic a place in the history books by winning the decider 6-4 6-4 6-4 to claim his maiden major trophy. The Russian was as close to perfect as he’s ever been to stun Djokovic, who was outplayed from the moment he was broken in the first game of the match.
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The world No. 1 was aiming to become the first man since Australian Rod Laver in 1969 to win the calendar Grand Slam. Having already secured the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this year, he was just one match away from completing the rarest feat in tennis.
But it will have to wait another year.
Djokovic often finds himself on the wrong end of a crowd’s reception — he’s been booed in the past at Wimbledon and Melbourne Park — but this time those in the stands were right behind the top seed.
Medvedev had been serving incredibly all match, regularly sending down thunderbolts even on his second serve. But needing to win just one more game for the championship at 5-2 in the third set, the jitters finally kicked in.
The crowd turned against Medvedev, heckling him as he served for the match. The jeers clearly got to the 25-year-old, who double faulted twice in succession to be broken for the first time in the final.
Spectators roared as Djokovic kept his slim hopes of a miracle alive. At the final changeover, he smiled and pumped his fist, showing his appreciation for the flood of support.
It didn’t change the course of the decider though. Medvedev regained his composure to close out the match but Djokovic was still thankful for everyone wishing him well.
“Even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I’m the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special on the court,” Djokovic said in the post-match trophy presentation. “I’ve never felt like this in New York, honestly.
“I love you guys. Thank you so much for your support. I love you and I will see you soon. Thank you.”
However, plenty of people who tuned in to watch the absorbing final were furious at the way the crowd tried to put Medvedev off.
Journalist Brian Stormont tweeted: “Well done Medvedev. That crowd was a disgrace though.”
Keith Andrew wrote: “Congratulations Medvedev, but that booing and shouting was genuinely shameful @usopen. Absolutely abysmal behaviour from the crowd and why your officials let that go on I do not know. Not how a major should be held.”
Darren Altman added: “The crowd booing and jeering Medvedev when he’s about to serve. Despicable.”
English sports writer Joe Krishnan called the crowd’s behaviour “shameful”, actor Abraham Lim blasted it as “rude” and “not cool” while tennis commentator Jose Morgado said they were “embarrassing scenes in NYC”.
But it was water off a duck’s back for Medvedev. “First of all I want to say sorry for you fans and Novak because we all know what he was going for,” the world No. 2 said.
“What you have accomplished in your career … for me, you are the greatest tennis player in the history.”
Djokovic missed out on his fourth US Open title and will enter 2022 tied with “Big Three” rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent with injuries, on an all-time record 20 men’s grand slam titles.
“Congratulations to Daniil. Amazing match,” Djokovic said. “If there’s anyone that deserves a grand slam title right now, it’s you.”