PARIS (Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev’s miserable relationship with the French Open continued when the fourth seed was bundled out in the first round by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics late on Monday.
With the time nearing midnight on a dank and near-deserted Court Suzanne Lenglen, Fucsovics completed a shock 6-4 7-6(3) 2-6 6-1 win in a match of brutal rallies and tetchy exchanges.
Medvedev, who has beaten Fucsovics in their previous three encounters, now has the unwanted statistic of losing in the first round at Roland Garros in four successive years.
The Russian’s frustration boiled over at the end of the second set when, after losing a sensational rally to go down 3-6 in the tiebreak, he demolished his racket frame and was given a penalty point that handed the set to Fucsovics.
To his credit the 24-year-old Medvedev regained his composure to dominate the third set.
But with the temperature dipping towards single digits and both players putting on extra layers of clothing to stay warm at changeovers it was Fucsovics who was re-energised.
He quickly built up a commanding lead in the fourth set as Medvedev’s resolve ebbed away and earned his first career victory over a top-10 player when the Russian netted.
Medvedev is the highest seed to depart so far and the second amongst the men’s top eight after eighth seed and home favourite Gael Monfils lost to Alexander Bublik.
It is a loss that will hurt too after the Russian arrived with real hopes of improving his dreadful record at the claycourt slam.
The slower and sticky conditions were expected to suit his flat groundstrokes but it was 63rd-ranked Fucsovics who mastered the conditions to set up a second-round clash against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
There was better news for Medvedev’s fellow Russian as 15th seed Karen Khachanov beat Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak 7-6(3) 6-3 6-3.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)