Not Medvedev's Day

From Daniil Medvedev at the current Roland Garros, experts expected a lot. For the first time in the entire career of the Russian, he was even considered as one of the contenders for the trophy, since recently the athlete has been excellent on clay and just a week ago he won the Masters in Rome.

However, unfortunately, a successful performance in the tournament preceding the Grand Slam often plays a cruel joke with tennis players. The day before, Veronika Kudermetova, who reached the semifinals in Italy, lost to Anna Karolina Schmidlova. The same thing happened last year with Daria Kasatkina: after winning in Canada, he lost in the opening match at the US Open.

However, Daniel has not previously seen such tendencies. And it seemed that he should easily cope with the Brazilian Thiago Wilde, although he looks great on clay: for the current season, the 172nd racket of the world won 35 matches on this surface out of 45, however, at the challenger level. And to reach the main draw, Roland Garros went through three opponents in qualifying.

And most likely, Medvedev would have easily coped with his opponent if he had entered the court on some other day. But on Tuesday, May 30, the stars aligned in such a way that the Russian practically did not succeed. First of all, he was let down by the serve: the tennis player, because of the wind walking around the stadium, could not get into the square with the first ball. However, this was half the trouble, since the statistics in the match for this indicator did not differ much from the average value for 2023 - 63%.

The main problem was that the athlete could not cope with the task on the second attempt, churning out double faults one after another. As a result, by the end of the confrontation with the Brazilian, there were 15 (!), while for the entire "Masters" in Rome - only 22.

"Yes, it was hard. But in general, it is strange - the wind has been blowing in one direction for six days, always in the center. I don't remember this in previous years. Nothing can be done. It wasn't easy, but it's part of the game. With such heavy balls, it was difficult to adapt to the wind. It seems to me that this ball gives an advantage to those who use the wrist heavily - today's opponents, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas. They can accelerate the ball more easily, but I can't. Today it was like that. He controlled the game, and I suffered - especially against the wind," admitted Daniil after the meeting.

Medvedev also had problems during the rallies: it would seem that a perfectly executed candle landed in the out twice in a row for a couple of centimeters, then the ball in a simple situation went into the net. There was no backhand either. As a result, the tennis player made 48 unforced errors per match.

Of course, all this unbalanced Daniil and already in the first set he began to swear with coach Gilles Servara, then a long discussion with the referee about the out caused dissatisfaction with the stands, and in the end he tried to cheer himself up, knocking himself on the head with a racket. In the third set, Medvedev also had to take a medical break: he once again started bleeding from his nose.

But even in such a situation, when much did not work out, the Russian fought to the last. And he brought the first two sets to a tie-break. True, the first remained with the Brazilian. In the third game, it seemed that the crisis had finally passed. Daniil, albeit with difficulty, took four games in a row - 6:2. But then everything went back to normal. And now the game was left for the opponent - 6:3.

At the same time, it should be noted the actions of the Brazilian. He did not allow Medvedev to relax, surpassing him in the number of actively won balls: 69 against 45. Moreover, even in case of failure, Thiago smiled. It was evident that he enjoys everything that was happening.

In addition, Wilde had a great end to the meeting and was not afraid to take risks, serving for the match in the fifth set. With a score of 30:30, he attacked powerfully and left the Russian no chance. And he put an end to the confrontation with an excellent blow along the line right through.

"I was struggling. In the last game, he equalized, made it 30:30, but the guy scored two winners. Happens. I hope next time I will recoup (smiles). Of course, I'm disappointed. I will think about this match for a week, but now I don't see where I made mistakes. Yes, there were doubles, but today the wind is so crazy that it is not easy to serve, "said the Russian.

As the 23-year-old Brazilian admitted after the match, as a junior, he imagined how he performs at Roland Garros and beats the strongest tennis players in the world. And now his dream has finally come true. Thiago defeated an athlete and the top 10 of the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. Well, Medvedev was eliminated in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2020.

Daniil's departure became the main sensation of the game day. All other contenders for victory in Roland Garros overcame the first round. Only Holger Rune had a small problem, it took him four sets to cope with American Christopher Eubanks. Alexander Zverev, Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz dealt with their rivals in three games.

Mirra's first victory

The first of the Andreev sisters on the Paris court was 16-year-old Mirra. She got Alison Riske as a rival. The 32-year-old American showed her best results in her career a few years ago: in 2019, she was in the top 20 of the world ranking. However, then there was a decline, and now it is only 85th. The current season is completely unsuccessful for the tennis player. She has not yet won any of her five matches at WTA-level tournaments.

The athlete and the representative of Russia were not surprised by anything. Although, after all, a more stubborn struggle was expected in this match. After all, Andreeva played her first match at the adult Grand Slam tournament, and this could make yesterday's junior worried. But that was not the case. Mirra started the meeting by winning 10 points in a row, making a break and leading 3-0.

The Russian did not have a serve (41% of the first ball), but this did not bother her at all. Time after time, she threw tight punches under the back line, and Riska couldn't figure out a way to deal with them. As a result, for the entire match from the second serve, the 16-year-old athlete gave only two points out of 18 (89%).

Mirra's problems in the first game arose only in the seventh game with a score of 4:2, when she gave her opponent three break points. But the failure in Andreeva's actions turned out to be temporary, she immediately corrected herself, giving out another series, this time out of 15 consecutive points won.

Further, the situation has not changed. Andreeva continued to send balls under the back line, although perhaps she would have liked more variety in her actions. For example, the Russian woman came to the net only three times in the entire match. However, this was quite enough to feel comfortable on the court (20 actively won points against seven for the American for the meeting). As a result, Riske was able to take only one game in the second set - on the opponent's serve. All the rest remained with the Russian.

Interestingly, Andreeva will face Diane Parry in the next round. The Frenchwoman knocked out Ukrainian Angelina Kalinina from the tournament, who reached the final of the Masters in Rome.

Alas, Erica could not support her sister's endeavors. The 20-year-old Russian made her way to the tournament as a lucky loser after the removal of compatriot Anna Kalinskaya. But she did not succeed in taking advantage of the chance, although the tennis players had every chance to defeat Emma Navarro. The American confidently won the first set, twice taking the opponent's serve "to zero". At first, the Russian woman was clearly nervous: 11 unforced errors against four from the representative of the United States.

However, then Andreeva Sr. finally coped with the excitement and imposed a fight on Navarro, who, as it seemed, was inferior to Erica in physical training, although only two years older than her. And if at the beginning of the match she managed to shorten the balls of the domestic tennis player, then in the second game she did not run so sharply to the net. As a result, the Russian made two breaks and equalized the score in the match.

In the third set, Andreeva continued to dominate, but only for three games. And then Navarro seemed to have a second wind, and the situation on the court changed dramatically. The American won five (!) games in a row and made the score 5:3. I could have competed for the sixth, but I preferred to take a break and concentrate on my serve, which I confidently took, realizing the first matchball out of two.

As for the favorites of Roland Garros, they did not experience serious problems on Tuesday. Iga Swiatek gave the Spaniard Cristina Busca only four games, in two sets they coped with rivals Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina.