The way a player behaves after winning a Grand Slam is mostly determined by a spur-of-the-moment emotion. The size of the crowd and how the game is won are also usually important factors.
The reaction to winning a first big championship, on the other hand, is frequently predetermined. In the case of Daniil Medvedev, he felt it was time to abandon his usual low-key celebration on match point if he beat top-seed Novak Djokovic in the US Open final on Sunday. When he did, it gave him the opportunity to mimic a celebration from one of his favourite off-court pastimes, the soccer PlayStation game FIFA.
When he addressed the celebration in his on-court acceptance speech, the 25-year-old hinted that his “dead fish” post-match celebration was a gaming reference. “Only legends will understand. What I did after the match was L2 + left,” said Medvedev, according to ESPN.
Medvedev explains celebration
The Russian then stated in his post-match press conference that the notion came to him 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.”