Daniil Medvedev dumped out of French Open in first round by Thiago Seyboth Wild

Daniil Medvedev dumped out of French Open in first round by Thiago Seyboth Wild

Second seed Daniil Medvedev was the first big casualty of the French Open after losing in five sets to Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild in the opening round.

On the court where Brazilian great Gustavo Kuerten lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires three times, 23-year-old Seyboth Wild delighted the Philippe Chatrier crowd with his attacking tennis.

After winning the opening set, he looked to have blown his chance when he failed to convert a 6-4 lead in the second-set tie-break and missed the easiest of overheads to hand Medvedev the set.

The Russian comfortably won the third as well but Seyboth Wild fought back brilliantly in the fourth and broke the Medvedev serve three times in the decider to win 7-6 (5) 6-7 (6) 2-6 6-3 6-4, clinching his first grand slam win with his 69th winner.

Seyboth Wild, ranked 172, said: “I’ve watched Daniil play for my entire career. I’ve always dreamed of playing these players on this court. In my best dreams I beat them, so it’s a dream come true.”

Medvedev became increasingly riled by the crowd, gesturing for them to be quiet, and ranted incessantly at his box before departing the arena without acknowledging the fans.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “The only thing was when I asked the umpire to check the mark. It was pretty close, in my opinion. I was just discussing with her where does she see the ball and getting booed for whatever reason. I just told them to shut up, and that’s it.”

Thiago Seyboth Wild celebrates his huge upset of Daniil Medvedev
Thiago Seyboth Wild celebrates his huge upset of Daniil Medvedev (Aurelien Morissard/AP)

A committed clayphobe in his younger days, Medvedev has improved considerably on the surface, reaching the quarter-finals here in 2021 and winning his first Masters title on the red stuff in Rome earlier this month.

That achievement positioned him firmly among the title contenders but instead he suffered his first opening-round loss at a slam for four years.

The world number two was not too disappointed, saying: “I’m not going to look at it back on TV but my feeling was that he played well. I don’t think I played that bad, but he played well.

“His life is going to be better if he plays like this every match. He’s going to get more money, more sponsors, win big titles. But he has to play like this. Not once on the Philippe Chatrier, but a lot of times in different tournaments all over the world throughout the year.”

Medvedev was pleased overall with his clay-court season, but said: “Every time it finishes, I’m happy.

“I had a mouthful of clay since probably the third game of the match, and I don’t like it. I don’t know if people like to eat clay, to have clay in their bags, in their shoes, the socks, white socks, you can throw them in the garbage after clay season. Maybe some people like it. I don’t.”

Medvedev is more fond of grass and hopes his nationality will not count against him with the Wimbledon public following the lifting of last year’s ban.

“We cannot control it,” he said. “If people are going to decide to be harsh, it is what it is. If they’re going to be kind, it’s great.

“I will be happy if I’m able to come to the UK to play Wimbledon. It’s not easy to play on grass. I cannot even say I love it, but better than on clay. So I’m going to try to manage to do better this year in Wimbledon than the years before.”

There was a tense exchange in Seyboth Wild’s press conference when he was asked about an ongoing legal process following a complaint of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend in 2021.

“I don’t think it’s a subject we should talk about it right here,” said the Brazilian. “I don’t think it’s a question you should be making to anybody.”

The bottom half of the men’s draw is now a land of opportunity, with already no former grand slam champions left.

Fourth seed Casper Ruud, the beaten finalist last year, has endured a difficult season so far but eased to a 6-4 6-3 6-2 win over Elias Ymer while Alexander Zverev won his first match at Roland Garros since the serious ankle injury he suffered in last year’s semi-final, beating Lloyd Harris 7-6 (6) 7-6 (0) 6-1.

Sixth seed Holger Rune will fancy his chances of reaching the final and he recovered from losing the second set to beat American Chris Eubanks 6-4 3-6 7-6 (2) 6-2 while ninth seed Taylor Fritz raced past Michael Mmoh 6-2 6-1 6-1.

The match of the day, meanwhile, finished past midnight, as a cramping Gael Monfils limped his way to a 3-6 6-3 7-5 1-6 7-5 victory over Argentinian Sebastian Baez having trailed 4-0 in the deciding set.

The 36-year-old Frenchman, who has struggled with injury for the last year and is ranked down at 394, lay on the clay sobbing after clinching just his second win since August.