Shellshocked Daniil Medvedev questioned his long-term future in tennis after claiming his rough treatment by the Aussie crowd was racially motivated because he is Russian.
The US Open champion’s rocky relationship with the locals started when claimed sections of support had a “low IQ” after his second round win over Nick Kyrgios.
In contrast to the rapturous reception for Rafa Nadal, the world No.2 was booed when he entered the Rod Laver Arena last night.
And repeatedly riled by fans cheering his service faults, he told Aussie umpire John Blom: “You need to say if anyone shouts out on second serve: ‘They are an idiot.’ They are idiots. Empty brained.”
So after failing in his bid to win a second Grand Slam and become world No.1, Medvedev entered his press conference to give a long monologue about his journey in tennis and claimed: “The kid stopped dreaming.”
Clearly hurt, he explained: “From now on I’m playing for myself, for my family, to provide my family, for people that trust in me, of course for all the Russians because I feel a lot of support there.
“If there is a tournament on hard courts in Moscow, before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I’m going to go there even if I miss Wimbledon or Roland Garros or whatever.
“The kid stopped dreaming. The kid is going to play for himself.”
He added: “Before Rafa serves even in the fifth set, there would be somebody, and I would even be surprised, like one guy screaming, C’mon, Daniil.
“A thousand people would be like: ‘Shush’, That sound. Before my serve, I didn’t hear it. It’s disappointing. It’s disrespectful, it’s disappointing. I’m not sure after 30 years I’m going to want to play tennis.
“I think nationality plays a key. I can definitely see when you play somebody from the other country, they would go for them and not for the Russian.”
Nadal became the first man to win 21 Grand Slams with his sensational triumph.
And he will look to go even further ahead of the chasing Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer when he returns to Roland Garros in May.
Medvedev, meanwhile, will no doubt take some time to lick his wounds before going back to action.