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Men’s Tennis Once Again The Best Reality Show On TV As “$#!T Hits The Fan” At U.S. Open

By Ricky Dimon

Men’s tennis is the best reality show you will find on TV these days. A lot of that has to do with Nick Kyrgios, but–amazingly enough–Kyrgios has stayed completely out of it so far at the U.S. Open. The same cannot be said of some other high-profile players.

Labor Day Weekend began with plenty of fireworks on Friday night. Heck, even Roger Federer was left cursing in his press conference…. And that was after a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win!

Federer was asked–again–about possibly getting preferential treatment in terms of scheduling at events.

“I don’t remember that I asked for something,” the 38-year-old said following his third-round victory over Dan Evans. “I definitely didn’t [ask for a certain time slot] intentionally. I don’t even know if the team asked for [a day match]. I know there was questions to have a preference.

“But that doesn’t mean like, “Roger asks, Roger gets.” Just remember that, because I have heard this shit  too often now. I’m sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

“[Players] can give our opinion. That’s what we do. But I’m still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4:00 in the morning.”

Daniil Medvedev finished his third-round match well before 4:00 in the morning, but it was also well past midnight by the time he beat Feliciano Lopez. In victory, though, he certainly did not silence the crowd that was against him from start to finish.

It all started when Medvedev swatted a towel out of a ballkid’s hands late in the first set. That turned the fans against him and thoroughly behind Lopez. Tired of all the support Lopez was getting, Medvedev made things even more polarized when he gave the crowd the finger after the Spaniard won an entertaining point with a backhand overhead smash.

Everyone saw it, too, because a slow motion replay of Medvedev shooting the bird was displayed on the big screen in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The rest of the way it was downright circus, with the fans constantly booing Medvedev at every opportunity while throwing their support even more vociferously behind Lopez. The Russian eventually won in four fun, hotly-contested sets, and everyone knew the post-match interview was going to be… let’s say… INTERESTING.

But what transpired was even more ridiculous than anyone could have anticipated.

“First of all I can say thank you all, guys, because your energy tonight gave me the win,” Medvedev declared while getting serenaded with boos that became louder and louder by the second. “Because if you were not here, guys, I would probably lose the match, because I was so tired. I was cramping yesterday; it was so tough for me to play. So I want all of you to know, when you sleep tonight: I won because of you.”

He then completely disregarded the interviewer’s next question, instead continuing his agenda agains the crowd.

“Again, the only thing I can say is the energy you’re giving me right now, guys, I think it will be enough for my five next matches. The more you will do this, the more I will win–for you guys.”

If Medvedev wins one more match, his reward will likely be a quarterfinal contest against familiar foe Novak Djokovic. Interestingly enough, Djokovic had a run-in of his own with a fan prior to his Friday night match against Denis Kudla.

A heckler on the practice courts got into it with the world No. 1, apparently saying that he should have retired with a shoulder injury in his previous match.

“I’ll come find you,” Djokovic responded. “Trust me, I’ll come find you.”

It’s unclear if that happened, but the top-seeded Serb did find his way into the fourth round without any trouble. And, like Medvedev, he attributed his success to the haters.

“He did me a favor,” Djokovic said of the offending fan. “Big favor.”

All of this is a big favor for the U.S. Open, too. Only at this event does tennis time after time make these kinds of mainstream headlines for stuff that happens off the court. Tournament organizers love it. Fans love it. Players love it. It’s all happening in the Big Apple. It’s hilarious. It’s drama. It’s awesome. It’s New York.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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