Friday, 01 Jul, 2022


French Open: Medvedev, Tsitsipas through but Shapovalov loses

Sports Desk |
Update: 2022-05-25 13:23:42
French Open: Medvedev, Tsitsipas through but Shapovalov loses Photo: Collected

World number two Daniil Medvedev and 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the French Open second round but 14th seed Denis Shapovalov made a surprise exit.

Russia's US Open champion Medvedev, 26, won 6-2 6-2 6-2 against Argentine Facundo Bagnis, ranked 103rd.

Fourth seed Tsitsipas flirted with a shock defeat when he dropped the first two sets to Italy's Lorenzo Musetti.

But the Greek 23-year-old fought back to win 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2.

Musetti went two sets up against eventual winner Novak Djokovic in the fourth round last year before retiring injured in the fifth and surged into another commanding position against Tsitsipas.

The 20-year-old edged a tight opening set and raced into a 4-0 lead in the second, winning seven games in a row, as he ramped up the pressure on his more accomplished but out-of-sorts opponent.

But Tsitsipas dominated the third set, claiming 100% of his first-service points and hitting 13 winners to haul himself back into the match, and continued to outfox the world number 66 to set up a decider.

With Musetti's challenge fading, Tsitsipas broke serve at the earliest opportunity as he comfortably claimed the fifth set to complete a gutsy late-night comeback on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"Things weren't easy for me in the first two sets," said Tsitsipas, who will face Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar for a place in the last 32.

"It was positive and a good effort in the end. I wasn't feeling very good in the first two sets, something was off with my game. Lorenzo wasn't giving me any rhythm."

Meanwhile, 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist Shapovalov said he "didn't really show up" in a straight-sets defeat by Danish 19-year-old Holger Rune.

The 23-year-old Canadian, who reached the last eight at the Australian Open earlier this year, made a huge 53 unforced errors as the 2019 junior Roland Garros champion won 6-3 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

Australia's Alex de Minaur, seeded 19th, also suffered an early exit following a final-set tie-break against French 21-year-old Hugo Gaston, who prevailed 4-6 6-2 6-3 0-6 7-6 (10-4).

Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev had to come from a set down to defeat South Korean Kwon Soon-woo 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2 6-4.

Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud also progressed, as his 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0) win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brought an end to the Frenchman's career.

Elsewhere, Frenchman Benoit Paire served 24 double faults in a 6-3 7-5 1-6 7-5 loss to Ilya Ivashka.

Paire had lost in the first round in 10 consecutive tournaments before picking up a victory at last week's Geneva Open - his only win on the ATP tour this year.

Bagnis hampered by injury in Medvedev defeat

Medvedev reached his first quarter-final at Roland Garros last year having lost in the first round the four previous times, and had been unsure of his participation after a hernia operation in April.

"I love Roland Garros, especially since last year. I hope this year I can go further," said Medvedev, who will meet Serb Laslo Djere next.

"When I went under the operation I didn't think I was going to play on clay, but I managed with the doctor and physio to get back. Physically, I feel 100 per cent."

Bagnis, 32, immediately responded after seeing his serve broken in the opening game - but that was to prove a rare glimmer of hope for him against Medvedev on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

In a dominant display, second seed Medvedev won nine successive games as he efficiently settled the first set and took a commanding 4-0 lead on his way to clinching the second.

The Russian, unable to compete under his national flag because of the war in Ukraine, saw his progress checked as Bagnis - struggling with a calf issue throughout - broke back to level the third set at 2-2.

But that only served to refocus Medvedev, who rattled through the next four games to end the contest after just one hour and 38 minutes.

Bagnis could be fined his full prize money if it is decided that his injury prevented the Argentine meeting the required professional standard.

"It was a tough first round. I tried to give my best. I didn't have it in my best condition, I had a problem last week in my leg, but I came here to Roland Garros to get ready and try to give 100 percent," Bagnis said.

"But today after the warm-up I felt it again, the problem, so it was tough because I think I couldn't play, but I wanted to continue. I wanted to finish the match, so, I tried to do it, but it was not to easy so that's the reality."

Skupski and Koolhof make winning start

In the men's doubles, Britain's Neal Skupski and Dutch team-mate Wesley Koolhof had to come from behind against Koolhof's compatriots Tallon Griekspoor and Botic van de Zandschulp to reach the second round.

Sixth seeds Skupski and Koolhof fought back to win 4-6 6-3 6-3 and continue their fine form this year.

The pair have claimed a tour-leading four titles so far this season and won their first ATP Masters 1000 title together at the Madrid Open earlier in May.

Having won 32 matches in 2022, with their other successes coming in Melbourne, Adelaide and Qatar, they arrive in Paris full of confidence.

Skupski's best Grand Slam performance is a run to the 2019 US Open semi-finals, then alongside fellow Briton Jamie Murray, while Koolhof reached the New York final in 2020 with partner Nikola Mektic.

Source: BBC

BDST: 1324 HRS, May 25, 2022

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