French Open’s No. 2 seed, Daniil Medvedev, loses to 172nd-ranked qualifier, Thiago Seyboth Wild

Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild serves Tuesday against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

PARIS — If anyone thought a couple of recent runs to Week 2 at the French Open and a clay-court title a little more than a week ago made Daniil Medvedev a little fonder of the red stuff, forget it.

A first-round loss as the No. 2 seed at Roland Garros — against Thiago Seybolt Wild, a qualifier ranked 172nd who never had won a Grand Slam match anywhere until Tuesday — sure reminded Medvedev of his distaste for the slow surface used in Paris.


“I had a mouthful of clay since probably the third game of the match, and I don’t like it. I don’t know if people like to eat clay, to have clay in their bags, in their shoes, the socks — white socks, you can throw them (into the) garbage after clay season,” said Medvedev, who won the 2021 U.S. Open and reached three other major finals on hard courts. “Maybe some people like it. I don’t.”

Seybolt Wild needed to win three matches in qualifying rounds last week just to make it into the men’s bracket — something he’d failed to do on eight previous attempts at Slams — but looked very much like he belonged on Court Philippe Chatrier.

He hit big forehands and kept his nerve down the stretch to oust Medvedev 7-6 (5), 6-7 (8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

It’s the first time the second-seeded man lost in the first round of the French Open since 2000, when Pete Sampras — no fan of clay himself — was eliminated by Mark Philippoussis.

“It definitely was the happiest day of my life,” said Seybolt Wild, a 23-year-old from Brazil.

So what was his game plan going in?

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

Did it ever.

Employing a high-risk, high-reward style, Seybolt Wild compiled a 69-45 edge in total winners, including 47-15 on the forehand side.

He hadn’t even played a tour-level main-draw match at all in 2023, instead competing on the lower-level ATP Challenger Tour. At his most recent event, in Turin, Italy, Seybolt Wild made it to the quarterfinals and left with a paycheck for $5,950.

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