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Chris Evert has declared Daniil Medvedev the new “bad boy” of tennis, taking the reputation that has often been given to Nick Kyrgios. The world No 5 made waves in Indian Wells when he continued to complain about the court and threatened to take slow toilet breaks. And Evert has now praised Medvedev for “adding personality” to the sport.
Medvedev had an eventful run in Indian Wells, reaching the final for the first time. But it wasn’t his career-best result that will be remembered after he spent multiple matches moaning about the court conditions and cracked a joke about it in his runner-up speech.
The 27-year-old threatened to take bathroom breaks as slow as the court even if it led to “five time violations” earlier in the tournament and suffered scares when he fell on his ankle and tore off his nail in two separate matches. After a dramatic fortnight, Medvedev “thanked the court” during his speech on Sunday.
And his antics have caught the attention of tennis legend Evert, who likened the world No 5 to a “mischievous little bad boy.” The ‘bad boy’ title is one that Kyrgios has often been branded with, something he recently claimed was untrue and had been dragged out from the start of his career.
But the Aussie could now be relieved of the reputation after the 18-time Grand Slam champion said Medvedev was like a “little kid” at times as she praised his refreshing personality. “I love him,” the former world No 1 told Eurosport.
“I think he’s very charismatic. I thought he spoke very eloquently, and he speaks very well. He’s very likeable – he’s like a little kid on the court sometimes when he’s like a mischievous little bad boy.”
Despite naming him a “bad boy”, Evert explained that it was a positive comparison that brought some variety to the sport as she also talked up his tennis ability. The American star continued: “But I think it adds a lot of personality to the game of tennis, and he’s not afraid to wear his personality or his heart on his sleeve. I think it’s good to have all those varieties.
“His game is wonderful to watch. At times, you can’t believe the shots that he pulls out of the hat. He’s very unpredictable in his shot-making. He’s got the power and he’s got the movement.”
Medvedev was on a 19-match winning streak when he fell short in the final, losing 6-3 6-2 to Carlos Alcaraz. And Evert thought that he shouldn’t be deterred by the loss given how good the Spaniard was.
“He’s going to go back to the drawing board probably after this past match at Indian Wells and try to figure out another kind of game plan for Carlos, but his hands were tied. There’s really nothing he could do,” she claimed. “I think he’s great for the game. I’m a fan of his.”