French Open: Daniil Medvedev shocked by Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild at Roland Garros

Second seed Daniil Medvedev saw his French Open hopes end with a shock first-round defeat to Brazilian world No 172 Thiago Seyboth Wild on Tuesday.

The qualifier ended Medvedev’s hopes of winning a second Grand Slam final with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory after four hours and 15 minutes.

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.

Wild Thing

Seyboth Wild is only the second Brazilian male to defeat a top-two ranked opponent at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era after Gustavo Kuerten, who achieved it twice – Marat Safin (US Open 2002) and Roger Federer (Roland Garros 2004).

“I watched Daniil play since I was junior and beating him on such a court is a dream come true,’ Seyboth Wild said.

“I tried to use my forehand against his and it worked pretty well. I started cramping at the start of the second set but I used my mental strength to play my best 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 former US Open Junior champion Seyboth Wild fought back brilliantly in the fourth and broke the Medvedev serve three times in the decider to win a thriller.

Keeping up with Korda

Seyboth Wild is lowest-ranked player to beat a world No 2 at Roland Garros since No 213 Mariano Zabaleta defeated No 2 Petr Korda in 1998 1R.

During the contest, 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.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev gestures during his first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
Medvedev came into Roland Garros having won more matches than any other man so far this year

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 Grand Slam for four years.