Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have their fans, of course, but they also have a lot of people who do not like them for various reasons. The key, though, might be that Zverev does not appear to like Medvedev, but we cannot be sure if the reverse is true. This is what makes the Australian Open semifinal matchup between the two players potentially so much fun.
Tennis fans learned a bit more about the rivalry in an episode of the Netflix documentary Break Point in season two. The episode focused mainly on Zverev overcoming an ankle injury and playing with diabetes. There was also a buildup to a match with Medvedev in which the German accused the Russian of playing "dirty games" and implying Medvedev was a dirty player.
To be fair, Medvedev does know how to take longer than expected breaks in matches to try to slow any momentum his opponent might be gaining. Also to be fair, what player doesn't do that? Zverev could be accused of doing that in his quarterfinal match of the Australian Open against Carlos Alcaraz. After Alcaraz began to come back from two sets down, Zverev suddenly had a blister on his foot before set four and the stoppage in pay appeared to change the momentum of the match.
Daniil Medvedev versus Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open should be must-watch tennis
I did not think that Break Point made Medvedev look good either. In fact, the docuseries seemed to run with Zverev's idea. The problem is that Break Point might have been more honest about Zverev.
This is the other side of the rivalry and one that makes many tennis fans not like Zverev. Medvedev might play little games within the course of a match, as all players do, but Zverev is the player that has been accused of domestic assault and Netflix makes no mention of this. Zverev was ordered to pay a fine in a German court for the alleged assault against the mother of his child, and Zverev refused. There is now a court date set to resolve the issue.
Because of the on-court and off-court drama surrounding the match, Daniil Medvedev against Alexander Zverev might have the emotional charge that draws fans to tennis. We certainly had plenty of matches with emotional players in the 1970s and 1980s and that was when tennis was at its most popular. Whether you like Medvedev or Zverev more, the match could be great for tennis.