Medvedev cruises past Bagnis, rising star Rune thumps Shapovalov
World number two Daniil Medvedev showed no signs of discomfort from his recent hernia operation, kicking off his French Open campaign with a comfortable 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over Argentine Facundo Bagnis on Tuesday.
The 2021 US Open champion, who briefly held the world number one ranking earlier in the season, played his first clay event of 2022 last week in Geneva after a two-month break but lost in the opening round to Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Clay courts have not been Medvedev's strong suit and he was 0-4 at Roland Garros before last year's tournament but turned around his dismal record by reaching the quarterfinal in 2021.
“I love Roland Garros, especially since last year,” Medvedev said with a smile in his on-court interview.
“Before that I don't know if I actually loved it given that I was out on the Sunday when the tournament was actually starting on the Monday.
“But now it's Tuesday and I'm still here. I've been well after my surgery. I didn't think I would be able to play on clay. But with the help of the doctors and the physios I've been able to be back on my feet to even play a match on clay last week and I'm 100% ready to play Roland Garros.”
After trading service breaks at the start of Tuesday's contest on a chilly and windy morning on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Medvedev took control of his first matchup against the left-handed 103rd-ranked Argentine.
The 32-year-old Bagnis, who retired with injury in his first round in Geneva, had his right leg heavily taped and suffered a fall while serving in the second set. But he continued playing despite limping between points amid applause from the crowd.
The pair traded breaks of serve once again early in the third set but Medvedev, who hit 35 winners while keeping his unforced errors in check, kept his composure and broke his opponent twice more to seal the contest.
Medvedev will meet the winner of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and Laslo Djere of Serbia next.
Danish teenager Holger Rune swept aside 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in straight sets at the French Open on Tuesday to earn his first win in a Grand Slam tournament and confirm his status as one of the sport's brightest prospects.
The 19-year-old, who won his maiden tour title in Munich this month, powered past the Canadian world number 15 with ease, winning 6-3 6-1 7-6(4) and showing no nerves.
“I'm really positive and working hard every day to get better. This is what you work for every day, to be able to play the biggest tournaments,” the baby-faced teenager with a bright smile said.
“You know, I'm super happy and pleased to be in this position right now, to be able to have chances against these guys, to be able to win my first title in Munich was a huge step forward in my career.”
A former French Open junior champion at 16, Rune looked extremely comfortable on the red clay on the outside Court 12, cruising through the first two sets in less than an hour with Shapovalov having no answer to his power and serial drop shots.