'I don't hate Medvedev, I respect him' - Tsitsipas
LONDON – Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas says he hopes that his maiden victory over rival Daniil Medvedev will forgive his past behaviour towards the Russian.
The 21-year-old had not beaten Medvedev in five previous meetings until claiming a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win against the world number four on Monday, and they do not have the best relationship.
In their first encounter at the Miami Masters in 2018, Tsitsipas allegedly called Medvedev a "bullshit Russian" after losing the game. This fuelled an angry outburst which Medvedev launched towards the umpire, who had to step between the players.
Reflecting on the match, which he lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, Tsitsipas said he "got pissed and said what I said, which I do regret, but at the time I was very frustrated that things happened this way."
"I completely forgot about the past. I mean, our chemistry definitely isn't the best that you can find on the tour. It just happens with people that it's not that you can just like everyone," he added.
"It's not that I hate him. As he said, we will not go to dinner together."
Before they met at the Finals, Tsitsipas lost to Medvedev in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters, which the 23-year-old went on to win in his second 1,000-point title.
"I learned from my previous mistakes in Shanghai," Tsitsipas said.
"I remember coming out of my match in Shanghai against him and saying to my coach that things are going to be different next time. And they did prove to be different."
When Tsitsipas was asked what it meant to beat Medvedev for the first time, he added: "It's a victory that I craved for a long time now, and it's great that I came in at this moment.
"I respect him, for sure. He's a grand slam finalist, so that takes a lot of respect from me to him."dpa