Tennis news: Daniil Medvedev’s regrets over famous ‘low IQ’ comments at Australian Open

Russian star Daniil Medvedev has opened up about his infamous comments at last year’s Australian Open, which came after a fiery match against Nick Kyrgios.

Russia star Daniil Medvedev says his infamous “low IQ” remark at last year’s Australian Open was “stupid” and downplayed any “crazy” rivalry with Nick Kyrgios, before embracing the chance later this month to face Australia’s number ones should they be drawn to play in Melbourne.

At last year’s Australian Open, the then world No. 2 and eventual runner-up posed as an instant villain after not only knocking Kyrgios out of his home slam in the second round, but then to the jeers of the crowd with the dismissive comment responded: “It’s not all who do it…but those who do are probably low IQ”.

Medvedev is one of many big names playing at Adelaide International this week and has reflected on last summer’s controversy ahead of his first-round meeting with Lorenzo Sonego.

“First of all, what I said was … out of 13,000 (people) who were there, this comment was maybe 50 people at most, that’s the first thing,” Medvedev said.

“And that comment was probably not smart on my part. The way it was, the match with Nick, sometimes you just say things and after I’m like, ‘why did I say that?’

“First of all, it might not be true. Then (tell yourself) it’s stupid. (But) that’s why we love sports, that’s why we have some crazy moments during the game, all of us.

“Actually, I like Australian crowds. I remember when I played against (Alex) De Minaur in Sydney, sure the whole stadium was for him, but I remember sitting down with my coach after the game and saying it was a great atmosphere – they weren’t disrespectful.

“Sure, when it’s disrespectful, it’s tough for any player… it’s not easy. But again, everyone loves playing in Australia. It’s a great atmosphere so I’m looking forward to playing here and hopefully it will be good.”

There are six players in the top 15 in week one of the Adelaide International, including 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic. However, the Russian said if he had had a choice he would have preferred to play with his compatriots in the United Cup.

Russia and Belarus have been banned from all team events, including the Davis Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup and the newly formed United Cup, which makes its Australian debut this month at the same time as the Adelaide International.

“Oh yes, I would definitely rather play United Cup. I would have liked to play in the ATP Cup – the United Cup seems interesting,” Medvedev said.

“We (Russia) would be the only team with four players in the top 10 so yes we would definitely be good favorites I think but it is what it is and I’m delighted to be here in Adelaide and at this one tournament to play.”

16 of the world’s top 100 players were also banned from competing at Wimbledon last year, with the All England Club imposing a blanket ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes.

“It’s definitely not my decision. So far I haven’t heard anything and I fully understand why we don’t play team competitions where we represent our country, but hopefully we can play the individual competitions,” Medvedev said.

“As I’ve said many, many times over the past year, I play what I can play. Here I can play in Adelaide and I’m very happy about it.”

Having just expressed his desire to play in the United Cup, Medvedev added that he “understands” Kyrgios’ decision to withdraw from the team competition.

“From what I remember Nick likes to play team competitions — I think he’s played Davis Cup a couple of times,” he said.

“You never know if he’s really injured. He has had some issues with his body in the past. So if he wants to preserve his body ahead of the Australian Open, that’s perfectly normal. When it comes to other things I don’t know about, it’s up to him to talk about it, not me.

“If I was in the United Cup and I got injured before the tournament, I would retire – I actually retired from Davis Cup once because I was completely burned out at the end of the season, I think it was 2018 so I can understand it.”

Medvedev was the man who finished Kyrgios’ Australian Open in the second round last year, but the Australian returned serve with victories at both the Canadian Masters and US Open.

In the head-to-head, Kyrgios boasts a 4-1 record against Medvedev and the Russian said he would love to take on the Australian at the next meeting.

“The three games we played last year were all great games in my opinion,” Medvedev said.

“Obviously I wanted to play better in the two I lost but Nick is a great player.

“I don’t feel like we have a crazy rivalry because he has some more jazzed up rivalries with other players.

“I feel like playing him is just a great match and I would definitely like to play him more to try and do better than last year. I want to try to get revenge if I get the chance.”

But ahead of the Australian Open, Medvedev has a job to do in Adelaide that is proving to be the perfect test of his Grand Slam preparations.

A juicy semi-final showdown with Djokovic looms should both men survive their earlier games.

“I saw that I can play against Novak in the semifinals… it doesn’t make me know my draw better,” Medvedev said.

“I like playing against Novak because we’ve had some really great matches with a great level of tennis (but) at the same time being in the semifinals motivates me. If he’s there, great, if someone else beats him, that means someone is in great shape and has probably managed to beat the best player in the world right now. I will be happy both ways.”

Originally published as Tennis News: Daniil Medvedev’s regrets over famous ‘low IQ’ comments at the Australian Open Tennis news: Daniil Medvedev’s regrets over famous ‘low IQ’ comments at Australian Open

Ryan Sederquist

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