Medvedev failed in his first match on the mainland
The world No. 2 lost in Geneva to 35-year-old Richard Gasquet. But is it a sensation?
Russian Daniil Medvedev crashed his first match on the ground since returning to the tour. Now he has only a few practice days left before the start of Roland Garros.
Not the most prestigious and well-known ATP-250 tournament in Geneva attracted the attention of experts and fans this year first of all by the fact that world number two in the world classification Daniel Medvedev opens the primer season there. Remember, the Russian played his last match in the end of March in the 1/4 finals of the “Masters” in Miami, after which he had to undergo surgery to remove a hernia and a long period of rehabilitation. As a result, Daniel missed most of the primetime season, including all three Masters, Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. And Geneva is Medvedev’s first and last tournament before the Grand Slam tournament, the Roland Garros.
Daniil has been training for a few weeks now, and according to his coach Gilles Servard in an interview with Tennis Majors, the Russian has smoothly transitioned from inactivity to increased training and exertion: “I get the impression that Daniil is back from vacation, not from injury. The return process was so smooth. Each time it turned out that he could do more than the day before. The last hit to be tested was pitching. In week four, we resumed our regular workouts and began full training. This year he is more relaxed on the ground, it became easier to train him. Daniil understands that he needs to be more tolerant when he returns to the ground. That’s why he eases up a little bit, even if he knows his game is less efficient on this surface against certain types of opponents.”
As the No. 1 seed, Medvedev skipped the first round and faced 35-year-old Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the second round, who handled Australia’s John Millman 6-3, 6-1 in his opening match. Riccard is currently the 75th-ranked player in the world, but it does not matter as Gasquet is one of the most experienced players on the Tour and on a good day he can beat any top-ranked tennis player. Besides, the Frenchman has already beaten Daniel – in Montpellier 2018. However, the next two matches were already won by the Russian – in St. Petersburg-2020 and at the victorious for himself US Open – 2021. “I hope I will have the advantage due to the fact that it will be his first match in a long time. Daniel is a special player. As far as I’m concerned, he’s clearly the best among all the players of the new generation,” Gasquet said on the eve of his meeting with Medvedev.
As the match got underway, it turned out that Medvedev was far from his best form. He made a lot of ridiculous mistakes and his serve was very uneven. He had three aces and three double faults in the first set. The Russian held out until the score was 2-2, then he started to lose game after game. The break could happen, when Gasquet served with the score 5-2. Daniel got in a big hurry, he played two set points, got his first break point of the match, but he could not capitalize on it. Set went in Gasquet’s favor, 6-2 in 33 minutes.
The first game of the second game turned into a disaster for Daniel. He gathered a whole collection of three double faults and lost his serve. With the score 3-1 in favor of Gasquet, Medvedev had a very important game. The Russian player had to be patient and did not allow his opponent to reach break-points. In the next game he managed to break his opponent and even the score – 3-3. It is worth noting that by that moment the match had lasted one hour, Richard was a little “depressed”, he lost concentration, began to make more mistakes. In addition, Daniel began to play better on the second serve.
Gradually, the game levelled out, and the fate of the game was decided in the tie-break, where the Frenchman was luckier – 6:2, 7:6 (7:5) in 1 hour and 30 minutes. It should be noted that Daniil made his seventh double fault of the match on the match ball. To be fair, we should note that Daniil had 7 aces in addition to doubles.
That’s how Daniel lost his first match this clay season. But is it a sensation? Unfortunately, despite the words of Servar, Daniil still has big problems with his serve, plus the negative emotions that the Russian experiences when playing on the ground. We’ll see if anything changes for Medvedev in the few days left before Roland Garros. At least the Grand Slam is played in five sets. We should also note that French tennis players still remain the most uncomfortable opponents for Daniil. In official matches with them he has already suffered 22 defeats. For example, he had 10 defeats against Serbs and 13 against Spaniards.