'Shocking scenes': French Open rocked by Daniil Medvedev meltdown

Daniil Medvedev, pictured here during his meltdown at the French Open.
Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the French Open in fiery scenes. Image: Getty/Roland Garros

Daniil Medvedev has crashed out of the French Open in fiery scenes after he was hit with a point penalty for smashing his racquet.

Medvedev’s miserable relationship with the French Open continued on Monday when the fourth seed was bundled out in the first round by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

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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 had 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 racquet frame and was given a penalty point that handed the set to Fucsovics.

After an earlier warning for an audible obscenity, the umpire was left with no choice but to dock Medvedev a point and ultimately the set.

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.

The tennis world was left in disbelief over Medvedev’s meltdown.

Rafa Nadal advances as seeds crash out

Earlier, clay-court master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov.

However Gael Monfils joined Medvedev in crashing out.

Local hope Monfils was beaten 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3 by unseeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik, who posted his first career win over a top-10 player in six attempts.

The World No.9 couldn’t keep pace with the 23-year-old Bublik, ranked 49th in the world.

It was the third successive opening-match loss for Monfils in as many tournaments since the resumption of the professional tour after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don't play well, it's as simple as that,” said Monfils.

“I'm going to go home, take some time for myself, train and see when I'm going to start competing again.”

Marton Fucsovics, pictured here during his win over Daniil Medvedev at the French Open.
Marton Fucsovics reacts during his win over Daniil Medvedev at the French Open. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2008 French Open semi-finalist had 12 double faults in the match, many at crucial moments, and his 58th unforced error sealed a second-round spot for Bublik on his second match point.

Nadal, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 grand slam men’s singles titles, is used to slow starts at Roland Garros and this year’s debut was no different.

On the revamped court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof stayed open throughout, Nadal converted all of his five break points to set up a meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald.

The second seed, who had complained about the new balls being too heavy, did not appear too bothered in front of 200 fans, wrapping up the match with a service winner.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem cruised to a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic earlier.

In other men’s play, 19th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime lost to Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 7-5 6-3 6-3.

with agencies

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