'Open your freaking eyes,' Medvedev screams at line-umpire before being dumped out of Monte Carlo Masters

Despite not being at his best Djokovic gained revenge against Italian Musetti to reach the quarterfinals

By Reuters

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Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev - Reuters
Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev - Reuters

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 8:31 PM

Former world number one Daniil Medvedev was once again drawn into a heated exchange with an umpire before crashing out of the Monte Carlo Masters following a 6-3 7-5 defeat by fellow Russian Karen Khachanov in the last 16 on Thursday.

Fourth seed Medvedev, who had reached at least the quarter-finals in the last two editions at Monte Carlo, never truly got going against Khachanov.

After a topsy-turvy start with four breaks in the first four games, Medvedev double-faulted to gift Khachanov the lead at 5-3, with the world number 17 holding serve comfortably to clinch the opening set.

Medvedev shook off some of his early rustiness in the second and had set point when he was 5-4 up, but squandered that opportunity and was unable to break Khachanov's serve.

Khachanov's hold under pressure proved the final straw for Medvedev, who faded quickly and hurled his racket against the backboard after an erroneous call from a line judge.

"Open your freaking eyes," Medvedev, who also argued with the chair umpire after his win over Gael Monfils on Wednesday, shouted at the umpire and supervisor, before being issued a point penalty.

The win sees Khachanov reach the last eight in Monte Carlo for the first time.

"Mentally, even though I've lost a few hard matches to him on hard courts, I know he doesn't like to play on clay and that gives me some extra confidence," Khachanov said in his on-court interview.

"Sometimes I know Daniil can lose his mind. Sometimes he uses it as a tool, but it can get out of control sometimes. I tried not to look at him or focus on him, and just serve it out."

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic was not at his best but he did enough to gain revenge against Lorenzo Musetti at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event.

Twelve months ago, the Serbian suffered a shock third-round defeat to the Italian in the Principality and history threatened to repeat itself at this year’s edition after Musetti led by a break in the first set.

However, defeating Djokovic twice is no easy feat and the World No. 1 refused to succumb, finding enough consistency at crucial moments to advance to the quarter-finals 7-5, 6-3.

"It was a little exchange with the crowd at 4-3, 40/0 for him in the first set and ever since then I gained momentum," Djokovic said on the ATP Tour website when asked how he turned the tide in the opening set. "He lost focus a little bit. He was the better player for those first seven games, played some great tennis. Played really good shots and made me run.

"But this is clay and obviously things can turn around very quickly and a break of serve is not as a big advantage on this surface compared to the other surfaces. We saw a little bit of a rollercoaster in the second set, so I am pleased that staying tough and aggressive in the tight moments paid off."

The 36-year-old is competing in his first event since splitting with former coach Goran Ivanisevic. The top seed, who has Nenad Zimonjic in his box this week, cut a frustrated figure at times in the first set against Musetti, who caused the Serbian problems with his court craft.

However, the Serbian gained the decisive break in the 12th game of the first set before he played with greater intensity and freedom in the second set to reach the last eight after one hour and 59 minutes.

"I don't think I am still at my top level but it was a great test today against a great player, a very talented player," Djokovic said. "

I lost to him last year here, similar circumstances. I was a set and 4-2 up and I must say it was in the back of my mind when I was serving at 4-2, 40/15 and lost my serve today. I thought, 'Oh no, hopefully this is not similar scenario like last year'. I am really glad to overcome the challenge and look forward to the next one."

Earlier on Thursday, 11th seed Alex de Minaur beat Alexei Popyrin 6-3 6-4 in an all-Australian clash.

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