10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

World No. 172 Seyboth Wild Shocks No. 2 Medvedev in Roland Garros Stunner

Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil after their Men’s Singles First Round Match on Day Three of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2023 in Paris, France. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Rome’s red clay was a springboard to Daniil Medvedev’s maiden clay-court title and French Open dreams.

Today, inspired world No. 172 Thiago Seyboth Wild turned Paris’ pristine clay into major sinkhole for the world No. 2.

Roaring back from a two-sets to one deficit, the Brazilian qualifier Seyboth Wild shocked Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a stirring Roland Garros opening-round upset.

Talk about a Wild world.

This was Seyboth Wild’s first career Grand Slam win and a historic victory. Seyboth Wild made history in becoming the lowest-ranked man to defeat a world No. 2 at Roland Garros in a quarter century.

An admitted Medvedev fan, the 23-year-old Brazilian boldly attacked his forehand to bounce the 2021 US Open champion and score his first Top 10 win.

In just his second major main-draw match, Seyboth Wild fought off cramps, a botched smash that cost him the second set and the world No. 2 to realize a life-long dream.

“I’ve watched Daniil play my entire junior career until today,” Seyboth Wild told Fabrice Santoro in his on-court interview afterward. “I’ve always dreamed about playing on this court and playing this type of players.

“In my best dreams I’ve had a few of them and it’s a dream come true.”

Rome champion Medvedev walked on court flying high as the 2023 ATP leader in titles (5), finals (6) and wins (39) and had dropped just one set beating top clay contenders on the choppy courts of the Foro Italico.

In theory, Paris’ smoother clay surface and the more expansive running room on court Philippe Chatrier, the largest clay court in the sport, would play to Medvedev’s strengths allowing him to use his standard deep return positioning to command points.

In reality, Medvedev struggled to play off the front foot at critical stages, wasn’t generating his customary free points off serve, watched the Brazilian blister forehands past him, flamed out hitting a horrid 15 double faults and feuded with a few fans at one point repeatedly pressed his index finger to his lips shushing the French fans over a line-call check.

All in all, Medvedev couldn’t find solutions and didn’t do the dirty work necessary as he fell in the French Open first round for the fifth time in seven appearances.

Beating Medvedev in crosscourt forehand exchanges, Seyboth Wild unleashed his flame-thrower forehand scorching 24 more winners—69 to 45—than the 2021 French Open quarterfinalist.

Seyboth Wild said afterward his game-plan was simple: Engage in as many forehand exchanges as possible, attack net and work the width of the court. He did all of it and showed some fine feel in the frontcourt winning 38 of 55 trips to net.

“Walking on the court I really just wanted to get the angles, try to get to net as much as possible, try to use my forehand against his and it worked pretty well,” Seyboth Wild said.

Though Medvedev is one of tennis’ top tacticians possessing a tennis mind so shrewd Hall of Famer John McEnroe calls him “a chess master” on court, he inexplicably continues to falter in marathon matches. Medvedev dropped to 3-9 lifetime in five-setters, including 0-2 in five-set French Open matches.