Tennis great criticises Daniil Medvedev for ‘lack of self-control’ after Monte Carlo outburst

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Tennis legend Justine Henin has condemned Daniil Medvedev over his outburst during his win against Gael Monfils at the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion described Medvedev’s “lack of self control” as “quite impressive” and questioned how it is possible to “put yourself in this state.”

Medvedev earned a convincing 6-2, 6-4 victory over Monfils in his opening match in Monte Carlo on Wednesday, although the scoreline does not tell the full story.

The world No 4 expressed his frustration with two line calls that went against him early in the second set, before he was broken to fall 3-1 behind.

The 28-year-old Russian was particularly enraged by one of the decisions and ranted at umpire Mohamed Lahyani during the changeover when he trailed 4-1.

Medvedev regained his composure and won five straight games to turn the set around and seal an impressive win over the 37-year-old Frenchman, who was a runner-up in Monte Carlo in 2016.

Speaking on Eurosport, Henin was critical of Medvedev for his behaviour and stressed the fact that officials are human and will make mistakes like players do.

“How is it possible to put yourself in this state? Frankly, it’s very limited,” said the Belgian, who is a former world No 1.

“Of course, a refereeing error is never pleasant. But the players themselves fail quite a few times during a match, making quite a few mistakes. It remains human. This lack of self-control in these moments remains quite impressive.”

In his press conference after beating Monfils, Medvedev asserted his belief that he is capable of winning any clay-court tournament.

“Last season mainly showed me that I can win any tournament on clay, because when you win Rome and you go to the quarters in the French, playing five sets, I believe I can win any tournament,” the 2021 US Open winner said.

“There’s no difference between the French or Rome. Of course the French is a Grand Slam, so it’s a bit different, but if you are able to do well in those tournaments, you are able to play any clay court tournament. It’s good for my confidence. I know I can do well if I play well.

“Now, clay is different from hard courts, because on hard courts I know I will, 90% of cases, will win. But in clay, not. I need to work hard on each point.

“If I’m up 40-Love on hard courts on my serve, I might only lose two of those serve games in the year, which is not true on clay. There are more breaks, bad bounces. Sometimes even the second serve you can’t return.

“So I don’t like clay as much as hard courts because of all that, but I’m in a moment when I accept this. I try to find solutions, and I’m very happy in the zone I’m in right now.”

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