Daniil Medvedev secured $ 1.56 million for a week’s work in London when he took home the ATP Finals title on Sunday, but observers like Andy Murray were shocked at the Russian and his coach’s lack of celebration.
Medvedev stormed back from defeat to defeat world number three Austria Dominic Thiem at the O2 Arena in the British capital. He won 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 and grabbed the biggest prize so far in the one-year-old Russian’s 24-year career.
READ MORE: Gutsy Daniil Medvedev fights back brilliantly to beat Dominic Thiem and win the first ATP final title in London
But the reaction to the sealing of the match ball was not what many had expected from the often fiery Medvedev, who barely made a sound as he approached the net to take the defeated Thiem’s hands.
Medvedev finally showed a clenched fist in front of the camera, but also watched from the almost empty grandstands – where only a minimal number of support staff were present, but no fans were allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions – that also seemed Russian coach Gilles Cervara strangely subdued.
The scenes became even more surreal as Medvedev waited for the trophy ceremony, slumped in his chair and quietly flipped through his phone as if he had just finished a training session instead of adding the most prestigious trophy to his collection.
The strange atmosphere was picked up by the three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, who, along with his colleague Gael Monfils, was accompanied by Medvedev for an interview on their Twitch stream after the game.
Murray said he expected a celebratory roar from Medvedev when he won the third set and the match but was surprised.
“He didn’t react, he didn’t do anything!” Joked Murray of Medvedev.
“I was expecting something. And then they went into the crowd after the game too and showed off your coach and it looked like he didn’t give a shit, like you just won the first round of futures [tournament]. I thought, ‘What’s going on here?’ “
A laughing Medvedev assured the couple that after “the best victory of my life” he smiled underneath.
“My coach can have emotions, but I think they may have turned the camera when it was the wrong moment,” said Medvedev.
“But even if I have no emotions, it’s hard for him. He is there alone [without a crowd]And he won’t scream alone “
Medvedev gained the reputation of a budding bad tennis boy waging an ongoing war with the US Open on his way to the Flushing Meadows final in 2019, but was a calm personified on Sunday night in London, even when faced with it in the first Sentence and for much of the second.
“It started more or less at the US Open last year when I was struggling with the crowd. I think every player has a special thing to decide at some point in their career that they want to do [with his] Tennis, something like that, ”Medvedev explained his new personality.
“I know how to keep my emotions, not always, especially the bad ones are difficult to control. But I know how to control them and [that] let me [do] this thing.
“You showed the 12 winners of the London [Nitto ATP] Final. Everyone was lying on the floor, crying and screaming. And they couldn’t even show me the celebration.
“They just showed us how we shook hands … if they just showed me to walk it would be stupid. In a way, it’s special. I know it’s in no way cocky, I’m trying not to be cocky or anything, but [it’s] Just my style that I will keep throughout my career. “
The bizarre non-celebration was followed by a no less strange trophy ceremony, in which both Thiem and Medvedev were cut off from music and an overly eager presenter.
Tennis reporter Jose Morgado described the scenes on Twitter as “ridiculous”.
Medvedev was also cut. This is ridiculous lol
– José Morgado (@josemorgado) November 22, 2020
Medvedev’s win was a flawless week in London after winning all three games in the group stage – including against world number one Novak Djokovic – and beating 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal from behind in the semifinals.
His efforts earned him “undefeated champion” status and a cool cash prize of $ 1,564,000.
The Russian number four in the world was also the first man in the tournament’s 50-year history to beat the top three in the world on his way to winning the title.
Daniil Medvedev is the first player in the history of tennis to defeat world No. 1 (Djokovic) No. 2 (Nadal) and No. 3 (Thiem) and win the Nitto Atp final.
– Enrico Maria Riva (@enricomariariva) November 22, 2020
Incredible week of Medvedev. One of the most impressive title runs I’ve seen here in London in a while. Beat the three best players in a row for the trophy. Adaptation remains his greatest asset, changing loss patterns from unconventional but brutally effective tennis.
– Matthew Willis (@MattRacquet) November 22, 2020
Medvedev is definitely: the cat. In any situation, he always finds a way to fall back on his legs.
– Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) November 22, 2020
When the final left London after spending 12 years in the UK capital and headed to Turin, Italy in 2021, Medvedev’s triumph was symmetrical when he faced compatriot Nikolay Davydenko, who was the first title winner when the event moved to London in 2009 The two are the only Russians who won the title at the end of the season.