Daniil Medvedev Indian Wells 2022

Daniil Medvedev accused of being the ‘most unfair player in the world’

Alexander Zverev has accused Daniil Medvedev of being ‘one of the most unfair players in the world’ after a bad-tempered Monte-Carlo Masters clash.

Medvedev got the better of Zverev 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in the last 16, despite serving for the match twice during the contest.

Zverev was incensed about an oddly-timed toilet break that Medvedev took midway through the third set which, according to new ATP rules should not have been permitted. The ATP brought in new rules ahead of the 2022 season that prevents them happening outside of set breaks.

“He is one of the most unfair players in the world,” Alexander Zverev told Sky Sport of Daniil Medvedev. “I take fair play and sportsmanship very serious. He does not. He takes a toilet break when it’s not possible anymore.

“There are 1000 situations in which he feels that I start to play better and in which he tries to do something every time. I’m extremely disappointed from him as an athlete.”

“Of course you can argue that it’s not good form from me that I got distracted. This should not happen to me and it’s totally my fault and it really was bad from my side. But still I feel fairplay should always be part of sports.”

Why did the ATP change toilet break rules?

The ATP changed their toilet break rules ahead of the 2022 season after a series of allegations from players that that they were being abused to gain an advantage.

Andy Murray was particularly vocal about it at the 2021 US Open. The Greek took a lengthy toilet break of almost ten minutes in their match ahead of the fifth set, leaving Murray to stiffen up on the court while he waited.

He then repeated that in the following round against Adrian Mannarino, that time ahead of the fourth set.

“It’s just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match,” Murray said afterwards. “I’m not saying I necessarily win that match for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.

“The issue is that you cannot stop the way that that affects you physically. When you’re playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down.

“You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it’s the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.”

The fans were upset as well, and booed Tsitsipas when he played his next match, and that got his back up, accusing them of ‘not understanding.’

Unfortunately, he also admitted that he was ‘taking a break’ rather than just using the bathroom, but the problem from the APT’s point of view was that he was not actually breaking any rules.

“If I break a rule, sure, I’m guilty,” Tsitsipas said. “I agree; I’m not doing something right. If I’m staying within the guidelines, then what’s the issue?’

“I haven’t done anything wrong, so I don’t understand. The people love the sport; they come to watch tennis. I have nothing against them. I love the fans.

“But some people don’t understand. That’s all. They don’t understand. They haven’t played tennis at high level to understand how much effort and how much difficult it is to do what we are doing. Sometimes we need a short break to do what we have to do.”

Did Daniil Medvedev break the ATP toilet break rules?

As per the ATP website, the new rules are the following.

  • Players can take a maximum of three minutes once they have entered the toilet
  • Players will receive two minutes for a change of attire in addition to the three-minute toilet break
  • Note: Change of attire may only be done in conjunction with a toilet break (unless authorised by the Chair Umpire)
  • A player may only take one toilet break per match
  • Toilet breaks can only be taken during a set break
  • Time violations will apply if a player is not ready within the allowed time

As such, Zverev is right in that Medvedev should not have been allowed a bathroom break in the middle of a set. They are only permitted during  set break.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.