Magical Monfils Wins Thriller Over Baez, Medvedev Upset; Alcaraz, Djokovic Back Tomm.

by Staff | May 30th, 2023, 8:48 pm

As he often does, Gael Monfils made magic at the French Open. Playing in what could be his final Roland Garros, the French showman lived up to his reputation winning a thrilling 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Sebastian Baez to close the second round at 12:15am.

Monfils, who hadn’t won a tour-level match all year, was struggling against the quick, more powerful Baez. The diminutive Baez was the stronger player the first 90 minutes but after rallying from getting down in the third, he couldn’t take the set.

Monfils rose up inexplicably to go up 2-sets-to-1.

The effort, though, spent the 36-year-old. Monfils was gasses and Baez coasted to the fourth 6-1 and led 4-0 in the fifth with a break chance for 5-0!

Fighting his body, Monfils gave it one final push, and push he did. With the crowd louder than it has ever been, Monfils answered the bell. Barely able to move in between points with Baez serving 5-6, Monfils gave the crowd they wanted.

Playing at hyperspeed, clearly feeling the pressure, Baez felt the weight of the moment. Monfils embraced. A backhand pass clipped the net and stayed true and Monfils earned one of his greatest wins and first on tour as a father.

“I said to myself I haven’t won a match since I became a dad, my daughter [Skaï] is in Paris, so I said to myself, ‘I’m going to win one,’” Monfils said on court. “I started to take a step back, believe in the energy of the crowd. We did it together.”

The story of the day wasn’t supposed to be Monfils but rather Daniil Medvedev. The Rome champion was stunned in five sets by Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild 7-6(7-5), 6-7(6-8), 2-6, 6-3.

“I’ve watched Daniil play for my entire junior career and up until today,” Seyboth Wild said. “I’ve always dreamed about playing on this court, playing these kind of players. In my best dreams I’ve beaten them, so it’s a dream come true.

“I don’t really have words to describe what I felt when I won the match. I was just super happy. It definitely was the happiest day of my life.”

In the dry and windy conditions, Medvedev failed to find a reply to the Brazilian who looked in full comfort on Chatrier. Seyboth Wild had his questionable moments — many missed sitter shots especially with points to go up two sets in the second set breaker — but he was poised and calm down the end, and was home on his favored clay.

Medvedev became the first Top 2 seed to lose in the first round at the French in 23 years since Mark Philippoussis upset No. 1 Pete Sampras in 2000.

“For sure I’m really disappointed,” Medvedev said afterward. “I’m gonna be thinking about this match for a week, but for the moment I don’t see anything wrong I did.”

“The match today, my opinion, I played well. I was trying. I was trying. I didn’t feel like before – sometimes I was feeling: ‘Wow, I really cannot do anything [on clay]’.

“Today I felt like I’m doing what I have to do, and he played well, so let’s continue. And, well, the match was over and I didn’t manage to win it.”

With Medvedev out, Holger Rune becomes even the bigger favorite. The 20-year-old took out big-serving American Chris Eubanks in four sets 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-2. He’ll now get a depleted Monfils likely on Thursday night.

Fourth-seeded Casper Ruud eliminated the other Ymer brother, qualifier Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz cruised past countryman Michael Mmoh 6-2, 6-1, 6-1. The 23rd-seeded Francisco Cerundolo defeated Jaume Munar of Spain 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-1.

Hard luck 2022 semifinalist Alexander Zverev clawed out a tough first two sets then rolled Lloyd Harris in three 7-6(8-6), 7-6, 6-1. The dangerous 28th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov sent out Timofey Skatov 6-0, 6-3, 6-2. The 27th-seeded Yoshihito Nishioka came from two setss down to defeat J.J. Wolf 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Also, Arthur Rinderknech took out Richard Gasquet 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(7-4). Qualifier Yannick Hanfmann edged Thiago Monteiro in 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(6-8), 6-7(2-7), 6-4. And No. 16 seed Tommy Paul bested Dominic Stricker in three 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Tomorrow, the second round opens up with Novak Djokovic resuming his quest for Grand Slam No. 23 against Marton Fucsovics. Djokovic is a perfect 4-0 against the cyborg-esq Hungarian winning most recently at the 2021 Paris Masters Indoors.

No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will challenge Taro Daniel in a first-time tour-level clash.

No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, No. 7 Andrey Rublev locks up with Corentin Moutet, No. 11 Karen Khachanov takes on Radu Albot, No. 13 Hubert Hurkacz faces Tallon Griekspoor and No. 14 Cameron Norrie clashes with Lucas Pouille.

Thanasi Kokkinakis also meets former winner Stan Wawrinka and French No. 1 Ugo Humbert faces Lorenzo Sonego.

Court Philippe-CHATRIER – Début à 11h45
Camila GIORGI (ITA) contre Jessica PEGULA (USA)[3]
Caroline GARCIA (FRA)[5] contre Anna BLINKOVA (—)
Carlos ALCARAZ (ESP)[1] contre Taro DANIEL (JPN)

Pas avant 20h15
Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)[3] contre Marton FUCSOVICS (HUN)

Court Suzanne-LENGLEN – Début à 11h00
Roberto CARBALLES BAENA (ESP) contre Stefanos TSITSIPAS (GRE)[5]
Marketa VONDROUSOVA (CZE) contre Daria KASATKINA (—)[9]
Iryna SHYMANOVICH (—) contre Aryna SABALENKA (—)[2]
Lucas POUILLE (FRA) contre Cameron NORRIE (GBR)[14]

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Martinez Wins First ATP Title Over Baez In Santiago
Tsitsipas, Medvedev 3-Set Winners At Madrid Masters; Alcaraz v Zverev Tues.
Baez Beats Coria For Cordoba Title

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7 Comments for Magical Monfils Wins Thriller Over Baez, Medvedev Upset; Alcaraz, Djokovic Back Tomm.

chrisford1 Says:

Fred Flintstone misses:

“The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the governing body of the sport, said they had received a request from the Kosovo Tennis Federation demanding Djokovic be sanctioned over his actions.

However, they pointed out that such statements do not contravene regulations.

“Rules for player conduct at a Grand Slam event are governed by the Grand Slam rulebook, administered by the relevant organiser and regulator. There is no provision in this that prohibits political statements,” an ITF spokesman told AFP.”

Certain players would say nothing controversial. Just bland happy talk in tennis and fan interactions. Or be achingly PC. Djokovic is not that type of player.

Wog Boy Says:

“Certain players would say nothing controversial. Just bland happy talk in tennis and fan interactions. Or be achingly PC. Djokovic is not that type of player.”

Exactly CF1 and he knows it and doesn’t regret it, on contrary, as you can hear from the man himself in this link, it’s very accurately subtitled, Fred Flintstone doesn’t need subtitles since his mother language is Serbian even he calls it differently:

zed Says:

“I wouldn’t change anything in my life because I’ve done everything to my best knowledge…yes I’ve made mistakes but at least I was authentic, I’d choose that every time compared to saying whatever pleases those that abide by the establishment.”

– Novak Djokovic

zed Says:

Oh and this one for Freddie

“As Kobe used to say: ‘Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.’ I don’t hate anybody…I don’t raise my kids that way. Hate is a horrendous emotion. If someone hates me, that says more about that person (than me)”

– Novak Djokovic

skeezer Says:

Djoker buttons have been pressed lol. Meanwhile, tennis is suppose to be played, not political agendas. That is what the fans are watching and paying for, no?
Play on Monfils.

Darko Says:

skeezer Says:
“Djoker buttons have been pressed lol. Meanwhile, tennis is suppose to be played, not political agendas.”

Realy skeezer?Then why Russian players didnt play Wimbledon last year?and why Americans play at the same time when they occupy part of Siria and steal oil?

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