Sports Monks

French Open: Daniil Medvedev says Grand Slam ‘preferred Amazon to people’

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev says French Open organisers “preferred Amazon to people” by putting his quarter-final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas on at night without fans.

Medvedev, 25, lost in straight sets in a match played behind closed doors because of France’s coronavirus curfew.

Asked if he was disappointed there were no fans, Medvedev said: “Yes, 100%.

“Our match was definitely the match of the day, so Roland Garros preferred Amazon to people. It’s easy as that.”

This year’s French Open has featured the introduction of night sessions, with one match picked to start at 9pm local time (20:00 BST) and broadcast exclusively in France on Amazon Prime.

Tournament director Guy Forget said last week that organisers had “committed” to putting the match of the day in this slot.

The decision to pick only two women’s matches for this slot has also drawn criticism.

“In terms of sporting fairness, we would like each of the top players to be able to play at some point in an evening session with empty stands. I have already informed some of these players,” Forget added on Wednesday.

Medvedev also played his second-round match against American Tommy Paul in the night session on Court Philippe Chatrier, but believes tournament organisers got it wrong with the scheduling of his quarter-final against Tsitsipas.

He likened the decision to an episode of Drive To Survive, a behind-the-scenes documentary film about Formula One.

“It’s actually funny because just yesterday I started the third season and I think the first or second episode is called ‘Cash Is King’,” said Medvedev.

“When the pandemic started, they were in Australia ready to race and they asked Lewis Hamilton what he thought about racing in the conditions the world was in right now.

“He said ‘I don’t know what we are doing here’. So they asked him ‘Why do you think they make you race?’ He said ‘Cash is King’.

“It was the same here.”

Despite his reservations about the decision, Medvedev added: “It’s good when you have sponsors and everything because that’s how we tennis players can make money.”

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