'Hard to fathom': Tennis world in disbelief over 'shocking' scenes

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Alexander Zverev, Alex de Minaur and Daniil Medvedev, pictured here in action in Rotterdam.
Alexander Zverev, Alex de Minaur and Daniil Medvedev were all dumped out on Wednesday. Image: Getty

Tennis fans have reacted with disbelief after Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Alex de Minaur all crashed out of the Rotterdam ATP event on Wednesday.

On a day of high drama at the World Tennis Tournament, World No.3 Medvedev was the biggest casualty as he missed his chance to usurp Rafael Nadal as World No.2.

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The volatile Russian lost in straight sets to Dusan Lajovic, going down 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 in just over 90 minutes.

Medvedev threw his racquet in anger after being broken in the ninth game of the second set, having a row with the umpire and starting the final game with a point penalty as a result.

The outburst came towards the end of a tense performance from the 25-year-old, which featured eight double faults and 25 unforced errors.

In extraordinary scenes, the tournament's top seed was joined by Zverev (3), Roberto Bautista Agut (5) and Felix Auger Aliassime (7) as seeded players to lose in the first round.

Zverev, 23, was dumped out by Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in a shock straight-sets defeat 7-5, 6-3.

The German star was seeded third in the tournament but was surprised by 43rd-ranked Bublik in just one hour, 19 minutes.

It means every seeded player in the top half of the draw is now gone.

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Alex de Minaur joins top seed exodus

Australian star Alex de Minaur battled valiantly, but was eventually knocked out by resurgent Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori.

De Minaur dragged himself back from match point down to fight deep into the deciding set in the last-16 encounter, only for Nishikori to raise his game to seal a 6-3 2-6 7-5 victory.

It was disappointment for de Minaur, who had been hunting his second tournament win of the year, as the 31-year-old Nishikori defied palpable weariness to produce his best at the end of two-and-a-quarter hours of the exhilarating and draining encounter.

Daniil Medvedev looks on during his loss to Dusan Lajovic in Rotterdam. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Daniil Medvedev looks on during his loss to Dusan Lajovic in Rotterdam. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The former World No.4 and US Open finalist eventually prevailed on his third match point to reach his first quarter-final at an ATP Tour event since the summer of 2019.

De Minaur had gone into the match in buoyant mood after beating John Millman in the battle of Australia's top two men players in the previous round but he started slowly, with erratic groundstrokes producing 14 unforced errors in the opening set.

Andrey Rublev managed to avoid the drama with a 7-5 6-2 win over a frustrated former World No.1 Andy Murray, sending the Russian fourth seed into the last eight.

Murray, looking for only his second win over a top-10 player since returning from the career-saving hip surgery he underwent two years ago, exclaimed late in the first set: "I'm totally unprepared for this."

Meanwhile, sixth seed David Goffin and American Tommy Paul progressed to the round of 16.

with agencies

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