Day 3 Diary: Medvedev feels the love

 - Dan Imhoff

An eventful Tuesday in Paris saw the world No.2 breeze through. Meanwhile Ostapenko declares she's ready for the French crowd.

Daniil Medvedev, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

Daniil Medvedev finds it hard to pass judgment on a Roland-Garros crowd if he hasn’t played before one all too often.

Much to his chagrin, for four straight years the 26-year-old came up empty-handed from appearances on the terra battue in Paris.

Last year’s US Open champion had not won a match on those red clay courts before finally breaking his duck en route to the quarter-finals last year.

With the monkey finally shaken off his back, Medvedev burst into the second round for the second year running on Tuesday, a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 winner over Argentine Facundo Bagnis.

“I love the atmosphere since last year,” Medvedev grinned. “Before, I don't know if I liked it or not because I didn't stay long. It was often over on Sunday and tournaments generally start on Monday.

“This time around, my first round was on a Tuesday, so I'm happy that I won and that I'll still be here on Thursday.”

The world No.2’s clay-court build-up was all but a write-off as he was sidelined for six weeks after a hernia operation, so he was unperturbed at crashing out to Richard Gasquet in his first match back in Geneva last week.

On Tuesday, he sailed past the 103rd-ranked Bagnis to set a second-round meeting with Laslo Djere.

“Honestly I'm feeling very good. When I did the surgery, I thought I would not play on clay,” Medvedev admitted.

“But with my physio and doctor, we managed to put me back on track quickly and in the end, I was even able to play last week, a difficult match, but I'm happy to have played at least one match on clay to get ready for Roland-Garros and to arrive here in a good shape. I'm at 100 per cent physically and I hope to play well.”

Daniil Medvedev, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2022©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Rile a former champ at your peril

Jelena Ostapenko holds the honour as the last player to beat Iga Swiatek this season before the Pole embarked on her 29-match winning streak and counting.

The 2017 Roland-Garros champion channeled her frustration at some of the boisterous Polish support for her opponent in February, and prevailed en route to the title in Dubai.

The French crowd may not get under the skin of the world No.13 as much as her next opponent, perennial home hope Alize Cornet, might expect.

Cornet posted a resounding 6-2, 6-0 victory over Japan’s Misaki Doi and said she hoped for a return to her favourite stage, Court Philippe-Chatrier, not that it would faze her Latvian rival.

“I think it's even better for me when someone is cheering against me, I'm more focused and playing much better,” Ostapenko said following her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Italy's Lucia Bronzetti.

“Yeah, of course she's a good player, and it's gonna be a tough match, but I also feel like it's her home, so maybe she's going to have more pressure than me.”

Jelena Ostapenko, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Julien Crosnier/FFT

'Next time I'll be more ready'

French wildcard Tessah Andrianjafitrimo had never faced a top-50 opponent in her career before taking on eighth seed Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old – whose father Teddy was a top amateur player in Madagascar before moving to France – shaved more than 100 places off her ranking this year to sit at her best mark of No.141.

Still she was not on the Czech former No.1’s radar until the draw came out.

While Pliskova had done her homework on Andrianjafitrimo, she admitted she was at a loss to place her first name in her post-match interview, after she recovered from a set and a break down to advance 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

“Sorry, I didn’t know her name,” she grinned when asked about “Tessah”.

“No I think it was mainly about me. I think she was really like putting many balls back, especially high to my backhand, which is tough to really play fast from this shot.

“I think she played well. It was also my first match, so I didn’t know much about her and next time I’ll be more ready.”

It will be another French wildcard on her radar next, the 227th-rankd Leolia Jeanjean.

Karolina Pliskova, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Cédric Lecocq/FFT

Ball kids go above and beyond

Following months of drills, training to keep this show on the road, the Roland-Garros ball kids stand ready to pivot outside their traditional role from time to time.

When the rain came down early on Day 3, the quick-moving ball kids naturally sprung into action and popped up the umbrellas to shield their players.

On Court 14, Alexander Bublik returned the favour and instead relieved the ball kid seated next to him of his duty, holding the umbrella above them both.

Alexander Bublik, Roland Garros 2022, first round©Julien Crosnier / FFT

Frances Tiafoe had enough to worry about as he attempted to tame Benjamin Bonzi en route to claiming his first ever match-win in seven attempts at Roland-Garros.

In the depths of battle with the Frenchman, Tiafoe suddenly had the added complication of a jewellery malfunction.

It was no task too big for a multi-tasking ball kid as the “Big Foe” necklace was quickly fixed back around his neck and the 24th seed was sent back on his way.

Frances Tiafoe, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Cédric Lecocq/FFT

Moment of the day

Stats of the day

Ostapenko snapped a five-match losing streak with her opening-round triumph over Bronzetti and in doing so clocked 38 winners in just 17 games.