Just how any player reacts to winning a Grand Slam title depends largely on a spur-of-the-moment emotion. The crowd and how the match is won usually play a significant part.
But the reaction upon sealing a first major championship is often a little more preconceived. In Daniil Medvedev’s case, he decided it was time to ditch his typically low-key celebration on match point if he defeated top seed Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s US Open final. When he did so, it became a chance to imitate a celebration featured in one of his great off-court passions – the soccer PlayStation game FIFA.
The 25-year-old gave some indication his “dead fish” post-match celebration was a gaming reference when in his on-court acceptance speech he addressed the move. “Only legends will understand. What I did after the match was L2 + left,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev: ‘You Never Know If You’re Going to Achieve It’
Later in his post-match press conference, the Russian said the idea first arose during his run to the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. “When I was running through [the draw at] Wimbledon… I was really confident about my game. I think it was one night, you know, you cannot fall asleep. Five, 10 minutes you have crazy thoughts, like every other person,” he said.
“I was like, OK, if I’m going to win Wimbledon, imagine I win it against Novak or whatever. To not celebrate is going to be too boring, because I do it all the time. I need to do something, but I want to make it special.
“I like to play FIFA. I like to play PlayStation. It’s called the dead fish celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this. You’re going to score a goal, you’re up 5-0, you do this one.
“Yeah, I talked to the guys in the locker [room], they’re young guys, super chill guys. They play FIFA. They were like, ‘That’s legendary’. Everybody who I saw who plays FIFA thinks that’s legendary. That’s how I wanted to make it… It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.”