Big congratulations are in order for Daniil Medvedev, who earlier today not only did the world a service by defeating Novak Djokovic, but in doing so somehow found a way to slip a tribute to, of all things, EA Sports’ FIFA series into his celebrations.
As you can see here, after clinching the match Medvedev eschews traditional celebratory stuff like pumping his fists and jumping for joy in favour of...dropping dead.
He’s probably very tired, but still, that’s weird! Less weird though when you let him attempt to explain himself to the 99% of viewers who would have no idea what he was doing. In his post-game interview he says, “Only legends will understand what I did after the match is L2 + left.”
Since that doesn’t actually explain shit, though, allow me to elaborate if you haven’t played FIFA recently. For the last few years, when you’ve scored a goal, you’ve been able to choose your own celebrations, in roughly the same way you’d be able to throw some punches in a fighting game. There are some button presses available for basic or trademark celebrations, and, as Medvedev is discussing here, there are also special celebrations available in certain circumstances or after making certain button presses.
One of those is the “Dead Fish,” also known as the “Brick Fall,” performed by holding L2 + pushing left on the right thumbstick, which is what Medvedev was doing when dropping to the court.
The comedic value of FIFA’s celebration (and its real-life counterpart) is all in the looping drop, so Medvedev’s slow climb to the surface of the court doesn’t quite have the same effect. Then again, the US Open is played on hard court, so it’s better for all of us than, “US Open Champion Dislocates Shoulder In Victory Celebration.”
Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked player, was on a quest to become the first male player in 52 years to capture a Calendar Grand Slam, which is winning all four major titles (themselves called “Grand Slam titles”) in a single year.