Daniil Medvedev's brutally honest answer on if he mocked Alexander Zverev after win

Some claimed that Medvedev mocked Zverev with one act following their Australian Open match.

by Dzevad Mesic
Daniil Medvedev's brutally honest answer on if he mocked Alexander Zverev after win
© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Daniil Medvedev has shut down claims that he mocked Alexander Zverev and shouted the word "karma," insisting that he pronounced a different word. 

After Medvedev clinched a thriller three-set win over Zverev at the 2023 Monte Carlo Masters, the German ripped Medvedev was "one of the dirtiest players" out there. A few weeks later, Medvedev suffered a shock French Open first-round defeat to Thiago Seyboth Wild. 

In the newly-released second season of Netflix's tennis documentary, Zverev in one episode addresses Medvedev's shock French Open exit by stating that it was "karma" for the Russian's "dirty tactics."

On Friday, Medvedev created a very impressive comeback from two sets down to beat Zverev 5-7 3-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the Australian Open semifinal. Moments after the match was over, Medvedev turned to his team and shouted something. The cameras didn't catch what Medvedev exactly said but lip-readers said it was the word "karma" that came out of the Russian's mouth. 

The moment quickly drew attention and Medvedev was asked about it post-match. Answering the question, Medvedev claimed it was "something about mentality" and related to his team. Also, Medvedev insisted he would not mock or provoke Zverev in that way because it would lead to something like that happening again in one of their next matches.

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

"No, no, no, it was not it. I tried to not go on Twitter but I went on Twitter and I saw it all over the place. I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" Medvedev said.

"As I said just right now, I don't want to go, let's say -- because it's a little bit like when you try, you know, touch someone and then he touches you back and then you touch someone. I want to, you know, I had my moments, probably the most with Tsitsipas, and even with him we seem to be, you know, we're not friends but we seem to respect each other more than before.

"So same. It was something related to my team. Something about mentality. So, yeah, nothing to do with this. I would not be happy to do it this way."

Medvedev 'mentally strong' ahead of the Jannik Sinner final at the Australian Open

Medvedev, seeded at No. 3, hasn't played his best throughout the Australian Open but he has still managed to reach his third final at Melbourne Park. En route to reaching the Australian Open final, Medvedev had three five-set wins, while two of his wins came in four sets. The only match Medvedev won in straight sets was the one he played against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round.

In his last two matches, Medvedev earned back-to-back five-set wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Zverev. Now, going into the Australian Open final against Sinner, Medvedev says he now feels mentally stronger than at the start of the tournament following a couple of hard-fought wins.

"Mentally 100%, I'm stronger than I was before this tournament because now I know that I'm capable of some things maybe I thought I'm not. Because before I didn't do anything like this to get to the final," Medvedev said.

"So mentally I'm stronger than before, and I'm happy about it. Probably honestly, it's better to be in the final winning three-set, four-set matches. That's the better way physically. But it is what it is, and I'm proud and looking forward to the final to give my 100% again."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Medvedev hopes his experience will give him an advantage over Sinner

On Sunday, 27-year-old Medvedev will be playing his sixth Grand Slam final. On the other side, 22-year-old Sinner is set for his first appearance in a Grand Slam final. 

At the Australian Open, Medvedev has already played in two finals. After suffering a straight-set defeat to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 Australian Open final, Medvedev also suffered a heartbreaking five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2022 Australian Open final. Medvedev has also had three Grand Slam finals at the US Open, where he is 1-2 in his finals played at Flushing Meadows.

While Sinner has been absolutely outstanding throughout the Australian Open, he still doesn't have the experience of playing in a Grand Slam final. Medvedev, who by now has lots of experience of how competing in a Grand Slam final feels and looks, hopes that experience will give him at least some form of advantage. 

"I hope it gives, because I hope to have some advantage. Physical advantage I probably don't have. Tennis advantage, let's see. But three last times he got me," Medvedev said.

"So I hope that this experience can help me. First final, I think it's always different for everyone. I'm sure some guys went out on the first final and felt so good they just managed, I don't know, to win it. There are probably these stories."

Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner
Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

When Medvedev and Sinner meet in the Australian Open final, they will be meeting for the 10th time. Going into the match, Medvedev owns a 6-3 head-to-head against Sinner. 

After beating Sinner at the Miami Masters last year, Medvedev had a 6-0 head-to-head against the Italian. But in late 2023, Sinner clinched three consecutive wins over Medvedev, beating him in Beijing, Vienna, and the ATP Finals. 

It remains to be seen if Medvedev can beat Sinner and win his second Grand Slam title in his sixth Major final.

Daniil Medvedev Alexander Zverev Australian Open