‘Friendship over’: vicious Australian Open feud erupts
WORLD No.4 Daniel Medvedev woke up on Saturday to read the news that his friendship with Argentina's Diego Schwartzman was over.
Schwartzman said at the Australian Open that his friendly relationship with the Russian star was ended after their dramatic confrontation at the ATP Cup earlier this month.
Medvedev raged at Schwartzman during Russia's win over Argentina, claiming Schwartzman had failed to apologise for a net cord ball that dribbled over the net to win him the point.
An angry Medvedev went on to challenge Schwartzman in an ongoing verbal assault, with the pair exchanging heated words for the rest of the match.
Medvedev earned a code violation when they came together near the net in the middle of the match, forcing umpire Mohamed Lahyani to separate the pair as one heated exchange threatened to boil over.
Medvedev was also hit with a second code violation when he twice struck the umpire's chair with his racquet when arguing with the chair umpire.
Schwartzman says he is no longer friends with Medvedev.
"We had a very good relationship and that happened. I was surprised," he said.
"I can't separate what happens inside and outside the court.
"I had a very good relationship with him, because we trained several times together, and I didn't expect him to have that reaction."
Schwartzman ended any kind of personal relationship with Medvedev after the ATP Cup. "We had a very good relationship and that happened. I was surprised. I can't separate what happens inside and outside the court."— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 25, 2020
Great @sebastianfest interview: https://t.co/hXkqp94BWC
Schwartzman revealed he scolded Medvedev when they had to shake hands at the end of the match, which was won by the Russian.
"He shook my hand and said 'good game', as if nothing had happened," he said.
"I said, 'Yes, that's a very good game, but you have to change a lot, because as a person and as a player you have zero respect.'
"And I repeated it. He said nothing to me. He repeated, "Great match" and did not give it importance.
"I cut the relationship because I don't separate what happens on the court from outside."
Schwartzman had said previously: "I told Medvedev at the net that he is a great player, but as a person he needs to change a lot.
"He is very disrespectful on the court and does things that he doesn't need to do."
Medvedev has earned a reputation as the hottest rising star in tennis and the man most likely to end the Grand Slam dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
He has also earned his reputation as a player that delivers his best performances when engaged in angry battles - after famously turning the New York crowd against himself and then winning them back over during his US Open run last year.
He plays Aussie talent Alexei Popyrin in the third round on Saturday night on Rod Laver Arena.
Schwartzman faces Novak Djokovic in the fourth round on Sunday.