World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the Moselle Open and turned the French nation against him after a savage collapse.
The event’s top seed has been thwarted by the 37-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion trying to come back from injury in a 6-4 6-7 6-3 outrun.
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Medvedev is far from having a happy season, booed throughout the Australian Open for a loss in the final, a fourth-round exit at Roland Garros, banned from Wimbledon and a fourth-round loss to Nick Kyrgios at the US Open.
Medvedev was banned from Wimbledon because he is Russian and the tournament had banned Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine.
His loss at the US Open meant he couldn’t defend his title and relinquished world number one. 1 spot.
Although Wawrinka hasn’t set the world on fire lately following injury dramas, he claimed the massive scalp to prove he still has what it takes.
And it was clear that Medvedev was not having fun.
After being broken in his first service game of the third set, Medvedev threw his racket as the French fans booed him.
Medvedev immediately started making big gestures, booing the crowd and making fans think he was making “monkey” gestures to the crowd.
“It’s simmering here,” the commentator said.
“He will surely draw the referee’s warning…oh he really has to be careful.”
One fan tweeted: “If there’s one thing you don’t do in the direction of a French audience, it’s provoke them…”
After the win however, Wawrinka didn’t throw Medvedev under the bus.
“We always have great battles,” said the Swiss during his interview on the pitch. “He’s top of the table. One of the best players and the nicest person off the pitch, so it’s always great to play against each other.
Now ranked 284th in the world, Wawrinka’s victory was his first against a top 10 player since 2020 in Metz on Thursday.
“I’m very happy with the level of play I achieved today,” said Wawrinka, who missed 12 months from March 2021 with a tendon injury.
“It’s for times like this that I’ve done everything to come back.”
After the match, Medvedev said: “Stan was better than me and he won. I tried to hang on. I had chances but it wasn’t enough.
“But respect to Stan, I didn’t think he was 37.”
Wawrinka will next face Swede Mikael Ymer in his first ATP quarter-final since January 2021.
Earlier Thursday, second seed Hubert Hurkacz ended former US Open champion Dominic Thiem’s run with a 6-3 6-4 win.
Originally published as Tennis stunned by ex-world number 1 Daniil Medvedev’s collapse