The French Open this year has lived up to its promised billing; we have seen dramatic 5-setters, thrilling comebacks, and massive upsets in the early rounds. As we enter the second week of the tournament, it looks as if we are in for an exciting week of high-stakes tennis. With some of the top players already eliminated, the draw is wide open and it promises to be a memorable one for all those watching.
T. Seyboth Wild def. Daniil Medvedev (7/6, 6/7, 2/6, 6/3, 6/4)
Wild, the World No. 172, pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament with a remarkable rally from two sets to one down. This was only the second main-draw match of his career and the Brazilian showed unbelievable resilience in the face of pressure, clubbing 69 winners and even surviving squandering two set points in the tie-break.
His incredible performance ultimately secured his first main-draw major victory. The 23-year-old Brazilian won a 25-shot rally in the first set tiebreak, then hit an incredible inside-in forehand winner to clinch the opening set. Medvedev fought back with Grand Slam pedigree and a drop shot to force the Brazilian into the net, but Wild kept himself in contention with relentless, brave hitting. He saved two set points at 6-4 in the second tiebreak but missed a routine putaway overhead to let Medvedev level. The 2021 US Open champion then used his winning mentality to pass Seybobth with an exquisite shot and looked bound for victory. But Seyboth Wild remained focused and claimed the upset of the day.
Seyboth Wild has continued to play great tennis, beating Guido Pella in the second round, to set up a third-round clash against Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka.
Daniel Altmaier def. Jannik Sinner (6/7, 7/6, 1/6, 7/6, 7/5)
In an exhilarating encounter that lasted a whopping five hours and twenty-six minutes, Daniel Altmaier powered through in a thrilling roller coaster to defeat the world number nine – the fifth-longest contest in the long and illustrious history of The French Open.
The impressive comeback of 79th-ranked Altmaier was even more remarkable due to the 2 match points he saved on Sinner’s serve in the fourth set. The final set was nerve-wracking as Sinner broke Altmaier when he tried to serve for the match at 5-4. The Italian had three chances to tie the match but ultimately failed and threw his racket in complete frustration. Fortunately for Altmaier, he managed to capitalize on his fifth chance and won the match.
The matches to watch
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Denis Shapovalov
The Spanish superstar experienced a minor setback in his second-round match, losing a set to Japanese Taro Daniel. Alcaraz responded with an outstanding performance in the following set, demonstrating why he has consistently been viewed as a powerful presence on the ATP tour for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, his upcoming round will be a formidable challenge.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov put on an electrifying performance in a grueling second-round bout against Italian Matteo Ardilini, taking the final two sets 6/3, 6/3 for a hard-earned victory. His serving was simply flawless, only facing one break point the entire match. His reward for the tremendous effort? A dream match-up against the World No.1.
This is the first meeting on tour for both players and promises to be the match to watch in the third round.
Diego Schwartzman vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
It appears on paper that Greek Tsitsipas is likely to emerge victorious; however, the Argentine Schwartzman should not be underestimated. His track record of reaching the semi-finals of the French Open, as well as having been the No 8 ranked player in the world demonstrates his skills on the court, which translate the best to the slow clay courts of the French Open.
Tsitspas leads the head-to-head 4-2, their last meeting being a routine 6/2, 6/3 victory for the Greek at the Davis Cup. On the red clay of Paris however, it promises to be a completely different story.
Tsitsipas seemed to be in cruise control in his second-round match against Spanish Carballes Baena, winning 6/3, 7/6, and 6/2 in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Alexander Zverev vs. Frances Tiafoe
Alexander Zverev’s matchup with Frances Tiafoe in the French Open of 2022 is likely to be one of the most highly anticipated matches among those discussed. Zverev, sitting at 27th in the rankings, had been struggling after suffering a serious ankle injury against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the tournament, which required surgery.
However, we know that he still has the potential to deliver an impressive performance and it looks like he is gradually getting back into form as he cruised to victory over Molcan in three easy sets.
Frances Tiafoe, on the other hand, is coming off arguably his best season on tour so far, with a career-defining US open run. He would not be happy with his performances on the clay this year, but when the American gets going with his huge forehand, he is tough to stop.
Zverev has a monumental 6-1 head-to-head record against American Frances Tiafoe, and their most recent encounter was in Austria, where Zverev convincingly dispatched Tiafoe in two sets.
It will certainly be enthralling to witness how Zverev fares under what is expected to be a more challenging test in the tournament.