Daniil Medvedev took aim at sections of the raucous Australian Open crowd following his entertaining victory over home hero Nick Kyrgios on Thursday, saying: “They probably have a low IQ.”
The Russian world number two took all that the mercurial Australian and the Melbourne spectators could throw at him to march into the third round.
The title favourite served out a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over the 115th-ranked Kyrgios in 2hr 58min.
It was a madhouse inside Rod Laver Arena with unpredictable Kyrgios dealing out all his assortment of underarm serves and tweeners before a partisan home crowd, while embroiled in a running battle with the chair umpire.
Calculating Medvedev dealt with it all to ease through and will now face Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round.
But the 25-year-old was unhappy with the behaviour of some of the spectators.
“I came to win this match and I am happy that I was able to do,” he said on court afterwards.
“It’s not your choice when you get booed between first and second serves, it’s not easy, I just had to stay calm.”
Expanding on the theme, he told Eurosport: “It’s not everybody doing it but people who are doing it probably have a low IQ.”
Medvedev was more impressed by Kyrgios.
“It’s a tough matchup against Nick. I know he can serve big and that’s already really tough,” Medvedev, the reigning US Open champion, said.
“I felt like I was returning really well and yet to break him it was really tough.
“But these kind of matches, first, second, third round of a Slam, it’s like a big challenge where if you make it, you feel like, okay, if I can continue playing like this, I can go far.”
Medvedev, favourite in the absence of deported defending champion Novak Djokovic, said that a Kyrgios on form could beat anybody in the world.
“On the court he’s an entertainer. It doesn’t mean he’s bad. But it’s a big show, so I tried really to stay focused on myself during the match,” he said.
“He’s somebody that can beat anybody, we know it. Like when we say ‘anybody’ it means anybody, including Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer), Novak and any top-10 player because he has a lot of motivation to do it. He wants to show this.”
Kyrgios paid tribute to his conqueror, claiming Medvedev was the best player currently on tour.
Kyrgios said he threw everything at the Russian in the combustible atmosphere of a prime-time night match.
“His consistency, every game he doesn’t drop his level, he shows up every game no matter what the score is or how much pressure he’s under he never gets flustered,” said Kyrgios.
“He just has so much belief in his game. He’s just so confident right now.”