Daniil Medvedev brands umpire a 'small cat' and accuses Tsitsipas of illegal coaching in bizarre meltdown

·20-min read
Daniil Medvedev berates the umpire during his clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas - GETTY IMAGES
Daniil Medvedev berates the umpire during his clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas - GETTY IMAGES

In the second Australian Open semi-final, top seed Daniil Medvedev overcame his contemporary Stefanos Tsitsipas in a feisty four-setter that revealed the froideur between these two bitter rivals.

This time, there was no face-to-face conversation across the net, in the manner of Tuesday’s flare-up between Denis Shapovalov and Rafael Nadal. Instead, Medvedev ranted furiously to umpire Jaume Campistol about Tsitsipas receiving illegal coaching from his father Apostolos.

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The main flashpoint developed late in the second set, after Medvedev had dropped serve for the second time, and made what Campistol thought was an “up yours” gesture with his left arm in response. Campistol handed him a code violation for “visible obscenity”, whereupon Medvedev went off like a Roman candle.

“Bro, are you mad?” he asked. “For what? And his father can talk every point?” Medvedev then repeated this last sentence four more times, yelling louder and louder on each occasion.

Eventually he changed the stuck record and continued “Answer my question. Oh my God, you are so bad, man. How can you be so bad in the semi-final of a grand slam? Look at me, I am talking to you. Give him [a] coaching [violation] because his father is talking every point.”

The issue was not finished there, as a clearly agitated Medvedev promptly lost the second set and then did his best to impugn Campistol’s masculinity. “If you don't [give him a coaching warning],” Medvedev barked, “you are - how can I say it - a small cat.”

australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - REUTERS
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - REUTERS

The two players – who had to be physically separated at the end of a bad-tempered match in Miami four years ago – shared a frosty, no-look handshake at the end of Medvedev’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

Medvedev – who apologised to Campistol as he left the court – later explained that he had done well to recover composure after his outburst.

“You lose your concentration a lot when you get in this heat-of-the-moment things,” he said. “And, yeah, the next game, [I was] 15-40, started terrible, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I'm just completely losing the fibre of this match.’ I'm so happy that I managed to catch it really fast.’”

Asked if he regrets his tendency to abuse umpires, Medvedev replied “I regret it all the time, because I don't think it's nice. I know that every referee is trying to do their best.”

He then tried to explain why he is so highly strung on the court. “We don't fight with the fists, but tennis is a fight. I can get really emotional. I have been working on it. I think if we look back at myself five years ago when I started playing, just started playing, there was less attention on me, but I was just insanely crazy.”

The issue of coaching from the stands recurred before the end, as the Greek umpire Eva Asderaki-Moore came to stand in the tunnel underneath the Tsitsipas player box. Early in the fourth set, she signalled to Campistol that she had heard an instruction, and he then announced a coaching violation.

As it happened, this warning came at 1-1 in the fourth set, and Tsitsipas faded sharply from there. Having previously held his ground in what was a high-quality contest, he almost seemed to lose interest and did not win another game.

After the match, however, Tsitsipas denied that he had been distracted by the issue. “I'm used to it,” he said. “They've been targeting me already a long time. My father, his medicine is to talk, and you can't stop it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep receiving coaching violations, even though I will never listen to any single thing he says.”

Whether this is true or not, the tennis rulebook doesn’t require coaching instructions to be heard or acted upon. They only have to be spoken for a violation to be incurred, which is why Carlos Ramos’s notorious ruling against Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final was technically 100 per cent correct. As for Tsitsipas’s views on Medvedev, he described the second set rant as “funny”, adding that “I know players like to do this stuff to throw you off mentally. Could be maybe a tactic. He's not the most mature person anyways.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Daniil Medvedev, as it happened

12:18 PM

That's all folks

Thanks for joining as always. Come back again tomorrow for the women's final between Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins. All the details are here.

And join us again on Sunday for the men's final as Rafael Nadal faces Daniil Medvedev.

12:09 PM

Tsitsipas reacts

12:03 PM

Medvedev meltdown

australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AFP
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AFP
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - SHUTTERSTOCK
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - SHUTTERSTOCK
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - GETTY IMAGES
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - GETTY IMAGES

11:48 AM

Medvedev on facing Nadal

I'm going to play against one of the greatest and someone going for the 21st Slam.

I guess last time Rafa was watching [the US Open final] and I don't know who he was cheering for, I guess Novak [Djokovic] will be watching in two days time also.

I'm ready, I know that Rafa is a very strong player and I need to show my best to try and win this match.

11:41 AM

Medvedev reacts

To be honest I don't think bad emotions helped me too much. As soon as I've done it, it was a big mistake.

I managed to re-concentrate and pulled out some serves and that got me back into the match - it's a quite important match I think!

I tried my best and I'm happy it worked. A few moments I maybe missed some balls, he missed a few and then in the third I just found some momentum and make some very important passing shots. His energy was going down and my energy was going only up.

11:39 AM

More grand slam disappointment for Tsitsipas

australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - GETTY IMAGES
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - GETTY IMAGES
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AP
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AP
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AFP
australian open semi final live score stefanos tsitsipas vs daniil medvedev - AFP

11:23 AM

The winning moment for Medvedev

11:18 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Glorius Medvedev backhand down the line. He can't miss at the moment, 30-0.

And another, three match points. Three backhand winners in a row. GAME. SET. MATCH

11:17 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-5 Medvedev (*denotes server)

It's all getting a bit ragged for Tsitsipas. Too many errors on the forehand side. A deep Medvedev return pushes Tsitsipas wide and the Greek puts a forehand into the tramlines. Two break points.

Medvedev gets the break after dictating another rally and finishing with a forehand winner.

11:12 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-4 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Complete focus for Medvedev now. That second set meltdown has disappeared and he is racing away with this match.

He's two games from the final.

11:10 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-3 Medvedev (*denotes server)

After complaining that Apostolos Tsitsipas was coaching Stefanos, a warning has finally been given to the Greek.

Tsitsipas double fault, 15-15. Stunning backhand down the line by Medvedev, 15-30. Serve and volley from Tsitsipas but he nets the volley. Two break points.

Tsitsipas forehand into the net. Medvedev breaks to take full control of the match.

11:05 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-2 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev races to 40-0 but makes two errors to keep Tsitsipas in the game. But a big wide serve from Medvedev is unreturned by Tsitsipas and the Russian holds.

11:04 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 1-1 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas gets back on track with a love to 15. Better body languaage from the Greek as well.

11:02 AM

Fourth Set: Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 0-1 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas' level has dropped at the moment and remains to be seen whether he can recover to get back on track.

Four forehand errors in a row allows Medvedev to hold.

10:55 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 4-6 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Lovely drop shot by Medvedev to start the game, 0-15. He then drills a backhand down the line winner, 0-30.

Deep Medvedev return and Tsitsipas puts a forehand wide. Tsitsipas saves the first with a big first serve. Medvedev gets the job done after a thrilling rally. He's one set from the final.

10:50 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 4-5 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev holds to love to apply big pressure on Tsitsipas now. Complete silence from the Russian, all business.

10:48 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 4-4 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Ace No 5 to start the game for Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas tries a deep squash forehand but gets it wrong, 40-15.

However, he holds again with a serve and volley winner.

10:44 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 3-4 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev drills a sixth backhand winner down the line, 30-0. And he holds to love after a drive volley winner.

10:42 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 3-3 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Frustration for Medvedev as his backhand drops just wide, 30-15. Tsitsipas overhead winner, 40-15.

A rare serve +1 error by Tsitsipas as he put his forehand down the line into the tramlines, 40-30.

He then nets a defensive forehand after Medvedev goes hard and deep. Deuce. Big moment in the match coming up.

Beautifully done by Tsitsipas to execute a forehand volley winner. Big Medvedev forehand down the line and Tsitsipas can't get it back in play.

Serve +1 works this time as Tsitsipas sends Medvedev wide and puts a forehand into the open court. And he holds after a forehand error from the Russian.

10:34 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 2-3 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Another love hold for Medvedev. He makes serving look very easy.

10:32 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 2-2 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Excellent volley winner from Tsitsipas, really attacked the net with purpose, 15-15. Relentless and clean hitting from both men but Tsitsipas rips a forehand down the line for a winner.

And Tsitsipas closes out the game with an ace.

10:28 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 1-2 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Back to robot Medvedev on serve. Step to line and crush it. He loves to 15 with an ace.

10:26 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4, 1-1 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Super rally between the two men, Medvedev keeps getting the ball back but Tsitsipas remains composed at the net to put away a backhand volley.

Big chance for Medvedev to finish the point but his forehand clips the net cord and flies out, 30-15. Tsitsipas forehand into the net, that looked tight.

Medvedev forehand long, 40-30. Tsitsipas ace into the corner to hold.

10:22 AM

Third Set: Tsitsipas 6-7, 6-4, 0-1 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev still seems to be rattled by everything and he double faults to fall to 15-40.

He saves the first with big serve down the T. Then the second with an ace down the T.

But he survives to get through and hold.

10:18 AM

Medvedev loses the plot

10:14 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 6-4 Medvedev (*denotes server)

The umpire gave Medvedev a code violation for ranting at the umpire.

Tsitsipas shanks a forehand out, 0-15. But responds with an overhead winner, 15-15. Tsitsipas backhand volley winner, 30-15.

Medvedev forehand long, two set points for the Greek. Medvedev saves the first with a forehand winner down the line. And the second as he ups the aggression and Tsitsipas nets a defensive backhand.

Time violation for Tsitsipas for taking too long. But he doesn't blink, keeping his composure to hit a forehand winner.

Medvedev forehand wide and Tsitsipas takes the set. Game on!

10:07 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 5-4 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas catches the line with a lovely forehand winner, 0-15. Medvedev responds with an ace. He's so good at that. His serve is a huge asset under pressure.

But he double faults for the first time to make it 30-30. He then inexplicably misses with a forehand into the open court, break point.

Wow. A shocker from Medvedev as he double faults again. A complete heads gone moment.

Tsitsipas will serve for the set next.

10:04 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 4-4 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas forehand winner after a big first serve, 30-0. His serve +1 has been very good today.

And he holds to love after Medvedev's backhand flies long. Another tiebreak coming?

10:02 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 3-4 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Ace No 6 allows Medvedev to hold to 15 and move in front in the set. Big pressure on Tsitsipas now.

Rod Laver is in the house and appears to be enjoying the spectacle.

09:58 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 3-3 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas nets a tough backhand volley off a Medvedev backhand pass, 0-15. Bit of net cord luck for Medvedev as his backhand clips it and Tsitsipas can't react in time, 15-30.

Tsitsipas forehand into the net, two break points. Medvedev forehand return long. Medvedev backhand drops wide by the smallest margin, deuce.

Tsitsipas backhand wide, tense looking shot. Third break point. Great Tsitsipas serve down the T is unreturned by Medvedev.

Tsitsipas misses again with a forehand, fourth break point. Tsitsipas forehand long. We're back on serve folks.

09:51 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 3-2 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

A fifth ace for Medvedev, 30-0. Amazing reach at hold stretch from Medvedev and he whips a cross court forehand for a winner.

Tsitsipas forehand error allows Medvedev to hold.

09:50 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 3-1 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas forehand winner then an ace, his second of the match, makes it 40-0.

And he holds when Medvedev nets a backhand return.

09:47 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7, 2-1 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Normal service resumed for Medvedev as he holds to love in 1:14mins.

09:45 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-7, 2-0 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas is using the drop shot much more effectively now and showing a great touch.

A first ace of the match allows him to hold and consolidate the break.

09:42 AM

Second Set: Tsitsipas 6-7, 1-0 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev's worst service game of the match and he finds himself down a break point.

And Tsitsipas seizes the opportunity, playing his best point of the match, dragging Medvedev left and right and finally whipping a forehand winner into the corner.

09:37 AM

Tsitsipas 6-7 Medvedev - TIEBREAK

Defensive Medvedev backhand wide, 1-0. A stunning rally sees Tsitsipas come out on top after a Medvedev backhand into the tramlines, 2-0. Big Medvedev serve is unreturned, 2-1. Medvedev forehand return into the net, 3-1. Medvedev backhand wide, 4-1. Big Medvedev serve is unreturned, 4-2.

Tsitsipas return error, 4-3. Medvedev forehand winner just catches the line, 4-4. Medvedev backhand long, 5-4. Medvedev ace, 5-5. Medvedev backhand down the line winner, 5-6. Tsitsipas forehand into the tramlines, 5-7.

Brilliant fightback from the Russian.

09:28 AM

Tsitsipas 6-6 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev drops his first point on serve as he makes a forehand error. But it doesn't bother him as he steps up to hit a big serve and forehand winner to move to 40-15.

And he holds again to take this set into a tiebreak.

09:26 AM

Tsitsipas* 6-5 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas with a love hold of his own as he finishes the game with a forehand winner. He's booked himself a tiebreak at last.

09:23 AM

Tsitsipas 5-5 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas nets another short sliced backhand, 15-0. And another love hold for him achieved.

No scoreboard pressure for him.

09:19 AM

Tsitsipas* 5-4 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas serves and volleys and does well to pick up a low volley but Medvedev gets to it and hits a forehand winner, 0-30. Another lengthy exchange and Medvedev tires out the Greek and finishes with a forehand winner. 34 shots.

Out of nowhere, three break opportunities for the Russian. He misses by a fraction on the first point.

Tsitsipas serve and volley winner on the second. Gutsy play.

Nice angled backhand by Tsitsipas gets Medvedev on the run and the Russian can't flick the ball in play. Deuce.

Tsitsipas forehand long, fourth break point. Big first serve from Tsitsipas.

Great anticipation from both of them but Tsitsipas reads the backhand down the line and finishes with a volley winner. Tsitsipas forehand into the net. This game has taken over six minutes.

Serve and volley beautifully executed by Tsitsipas again. Another Tsitsipas drop shot, Medvedev sees it coming and flicks a backhand winner up the line.

Huge hold from Tsitsipas complete after a blistering backhand up the line.

09:10 AM

Tsitsipas 4-4 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Four love holds in a row for Medvedev. A tie break feels inevitable at this stage.

09:06 AM

Tsitsipas* 4-3 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas chips a backhand into the net, 0-15. Tsitsipas overhead winner, 30-15. Longest rally of the match, sees both players go toe-to-toe and Medvedev nets a forehand.

Tsitsipas holds to maintain his lead.

09:04 AM

Tsitsipas 3-3 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Another super confident service game by Medvedev. Each time he gets his first serve in, he wins the point.

Three love holds in a row. This game took 1:06 mins.

09:01 AM

Tsitsipas* 3-2 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Tsitsipas' turn to get to 40-0. Medvedev gets a point on the board when his backhand clips the net and drops in.

But the Greek holds again with a forehand winner into the open court after a wide serve.

08:59 AM

Tsitsipas 2-2 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

It has been a serving clinic from both players so far. Medvedev races to 40-0 in next to no time.

And he holds when a Tsitsipas drop shot goes into the net. That's his second drop shot of the match. Seems to be a clear tactic at the moment and makes sense given how deep Medvedev plays.

08:56 AM

Tsitsipas* 2-1 Medvedev (*denotes server)

Drop shot then lob combination from Tsitsipas is a winner, 30-0. Tsitsipas volley winner after getting Medvedev on the stretch.

And he completes another comfortable hold when a big first serve is unreturned by Medvedev.

08:53 AM

Tsitsipas 1-1 Medvedev* (*denotes server)

Medvedev holds to love, producing big serves and rushing Tsitsipas. Could be a theme of the match.

08:50 AM

First Set: Stefanos Tsitsipas* 1-0 Daniil Medvedev (*denotes server)

Classy start by Tsitsipas as hits a deft drop volley off a Medvedev backhand pass. Medvedev forehand long, 40-0.

Another forehand error by Medvedev allows Tsitsipas to hold.

08:43 AM

Here we go...

... the players walk onto court for their semi-final. A few boos for Medvedev.

The roof on Rod Laver Arena is closed due to heavy rain in Melbourne. Medvedev wins the toss and opts to receive first.

Five minute warm-up underway.

08:34 AM

A reminder...

... that you can join us for coverage of the women's final between Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins tomorrow morning from 8am!

08:29 AM

Grand slam No 21

With Nadal's win, he's now one victory away from claiming a record 21st major title, putting him clear of great rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Whoever wins tonight between Tsitsipas and Medvedev will hope they still have the energy reserves to recover for Sunday.

08:21 AM

Who will Tsitsipas or Medvedev meet in the final?

This guy...

08:07 AM


Good morning and welcome to coverage of the second Australian Open men's semi-final between Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Daniil Medvedev. Tsitsipas is desperate to claim the first grand slam title of his career but he will come up against an opponent, who has arguably been the best player in the world over the last six months.

Tsitsipas has lost six of his eight matches against Medvedev, including a semi-final defeat at the Australian Open last year. But Tsitsipas did win their last meeting at the 2021 French Open, winning in straight sets.

"I'm headed towards the right direction and things look good for me so far," Tsitsipas, the youngest of the four semi-finalists at 23, said. "And, well, with the right mindset and with the right attitude and with the right development throughout the tournament, my chances are pretty good."

Medvedev is bidding to make his own bit of history by becoming the first man in the Open era to follow up a maiden grand slam title by winning the next major tournament.

"It's a good challenge," he said. "I'm two matches away. US Open gave me a lot of confidence. I need to continue fighting."

In the quarter finals, Medvedev had to save a match point to get past Felix Auger-Aliassime. "I never had this experience," said the Russian. "I played some long matches but never like four hours and never won it to be able to play in two days.

"If we look at the best, they were able to do it somehow. I don't know how. So, if I want to be a part of this group, even if I'm really far right now, I want to try to make it happen.

"I'm going to try to recover as well as possible, to be ready to play against Stefanos, because he's a great player. I need to be at my best to beat him."