Paris: Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild caused a huge sensation in the French Open on Tuesday by stunning World No.2 Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller in the men’s singles first round at the Roland Garros.
The Brazilian youngster earned the biggest win of his career on debut in Paris as he showed little sign of nerves on Court Philippe Chatrier, swinging freely throughout the four-hour, 15-minute clash to upset the second seed 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Seyboth Wild was playing in just the second Grand Slam main draw of his career, and will next face Guido Pella or Quentin Halys.
The World No. 172 clubbed 69 winners and recovered from squandering two set points in the second-set tie-break, raising his level again in the latter stages of the first-round clash to seal his maiden main-draw major win.
Seyboth Wild, who has won two ATP Challenger Tour titles this year, was competing in his first tour-level match this season. He will look to back up his dream win against Medvedev when he plays his second-round match.
Medvedev had reached Paris as one of the four players battling to claim the World No.1 rankings by winning the French Open title.
Medvedev, who holds a 39-6 record on the season, was chasing his second major title. The 2021 US Open champion has won a Tour-leading five trophies in 2023, including ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Rome. The 27-year-old is first in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin but can now be overtaken by Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Paris.
The 23-year-old Brazilian wore down Medvedev in a 25-shot rally in the first set tiebreak, moments before rattling an inside-in forehand winner to steal the opener.
Medvedev used his Grand Slam pedigree to force his way back into the match, and a deft drop shot had Seyboth Wild skidding into the net.
However, relentless, brave hitting kept the qualifier in contention and into a second tie-break. The rallies were becoming increasingly prolonged, with the majority finishing in Seyboth Wild’s favour.
A crafty drop shot chalked up two set points for 6-4, but this time it unravelled. The Brazilian missed a routine forehand putaway and a simple overhead, gifting four points in a row to allow the world No.2 to level.
The 2021 US Open champion’s winning mentality clicked in and Medvedev scuttled forward to scoop a backhand crosscourt pass from down by his shoelaces. His skills earned a thumbs up from Seyboth Wild as it seemed increasingly likely that Medvedev would march through to the finish. However, the Brazilian youngster did not lose focus and came back to win the match for the upset of the day.
There was no such trouble for two-time semifinalist Alexander Zverev, who moved past South African Lloyd Harris 7-6(6), 7-6(0), 6-1.
Zverev struggled to find his best level in the first two sets, with Harris forcing the German into errors with his length. The 19-time tour-level champion refused to buckle, though, saving two set points in the second set before he found more control in the third set to wrap up victory after two hours and 40 minutes.
The 26-year-old, who is 17-14 on the season, will meet Alex Molcan in the second round after the Slovakian beat French wild card Hugo Gaston 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-4.
Making his Roland-Garros main-draw debut, Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori rallied back from two-sets-to-love down, winning three consecutive tiebreaks, to complete an incredible 5h 11min first-round victory over Serbia’s No.31 seed Miomir Kecmanovic.
The Italian won 5-7, 2-6 7-6(8), 7-6(3), 7-6(9) to advance to the second round.
Holger Rune showed his clay-court pedigree on Tuesday at Roland Garros, where he battled to defeat American Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in his opening match.
The 20-year-old Dane was pushed hard throughout the opening three sets against Eubanks before he raced clear in the fourth to earn the victory after ‘wo hours and 50 minutes.
Last year’s Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud made a good start in the 2023 edition, beating Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round for the sixth consecutive season.
The fourth seed, who lost against Rafael Nadal in the title match 12 months ago, quickly found his range on his return to Paris. The Norwegian hit freely on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, outmanoeuvring World No. 155 Ymer with his mixture of spins to advance after two hours and seven minutes.
In other first-round matches on Day 3, Tommy Paul defeated Swiss Dominic Stricker 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The American, who advanced to the semifinals at the Australian Open in January, hit 25 winners and committed 17 unforced errors to clinch his 18th win of the season.
Paul, currently 11th in the ATP Live Race To Turin, will play Geneva champion Nicolas Jarry in the second round. The Chilean defeated Hugo Dellien 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.