Spirited show by Medvedev


Paris : World number two Daniil Medvedev eased into the French Open second round on Tuesday but he could not escape the shadow of Wimbledon, the Grand Slam tournament where he has been declared persona non grata.

Medvedev, who came into Paris with just one match on clay this year following hernia surgery, routed Argentina’s 103rd-ranked Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on the back of 35 winners and eight breaks of serve.

I love Roland Garros, especially since last year, said Medvedev, who had lost in the opening round on his first four trips to Paris before reaching the quarter-finals in 2021. I hope this year I can go further.

One place he will not be going, however, is the All England Club next month after Wimbledon banned all Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The ATP and WTA responded by stripping the sport’s most prestigious tournament of ranking points.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gave Norway’s eighth-seeded Casper Ruud a run for his money in a tight French Open first round battle but predictably headed into a tear-jerking retirement with a 6-7(6) 7-6(4) 6-2 7-6(0) defeat on Tuesday.

The Frenchman, whose career had been hampered by multiple injuries in recent years, fought for almost four hours before bowing out in tears.

In other results, seventh seed Andrey Rublev put out Soonwoo Kwon 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4); Denmark’s 19-year-old Holger Rune shocked 14th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (4).