French Open: Daniil Medvedev has it easy
World No.2 Daniil Medvedev showed no signs of discomfort from his recent hernia operation, kicking off his French Open campaign with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Argentine Facundo Bagnis on Tuesday.
The 2021 US Open champion, who briefly held the world No.1 ranking earlier in the season, played his first clay event of 2022 last week in Geneva after a two-month break but lost in the opening round to Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
“I love Roland Garros, especially since last year (when he reached the quarter finals,” Medvedev said with a smile during his on-court interview.
“But now I’m still here. I’ve been well after my surgery, I didn’t think I would be able to play on clay. But with the help of the doctors and physios I’ve been able to be back on my feet to even play a match on clay last week and I’m 100 per cent ready to play Roland Garros.”
Danish teenager Holger Rune swept aside 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in straight sets to confirm his status as one of the sport’s brightest prospects. The 19-year-old powered past the Canadian world No. 15 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
The teenager shot up from the 400s in the rankings in 2021 to the top 100 early this year. He has already improved his ranking to world No. 40.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gave Norway’s eighth-seeded Casper Ruud a run for his money but predictably headed into a tear-jerking retirement with a 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 7-6 (7-0) defeat. The court Philippe Chatrier crowd gave him a standing ovation as the 37-year-old knelt on the red dirt.
Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev survived a first-set scare to move past Kwon Soon-woo 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Third seed Paula Badosa made quick work of French wildcard Fiona Ferro by winning 6-2, 6-0 and boost her confidence following a dip in form earlier this month. The Spaniard, who had cited mental fatigue as one of the reasons for early exits in Rome and Madrid this month, required just 54 minutes for her opening win. Madison Keys, seeded 22, came back from a break down in the deciding set to close out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Anna Kalinskaya.
Eighth seed Karolina Pliskova recovered from a set down against home hope Tessah Andrianjafitrimo to battle to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 win.
World No.1 and holder Novak Djokovic cruised past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 on Monday in a comfortable start to his quest for a record-equalling 21st grand slam. The Serb, who turned 35 on Sunday, needed less than two hours to beat the Japanese world No. 99 in his first grand slam this year after missing the Australian Open.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu showed exemplary grit on her Roland Garros debut to rally to a 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-1 victory in a battle of teenagers, against Czech qualifier Linda Noskova.
Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop, seeded 16, progressed to the men’s doubles second round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over local wild cards Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg and Luca Van Assche on Tuesday.