Seyboth Wild shocks Medvedev for 'dream' win

The qualifier is competing in just his second Grand Slam main draw

Thiago Seyboth Wild, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

On his Roland-Garros debut, world No.172 Thiago Seyboth Wild has pulled off the victory of his life.

Recent Rome champion and No.2 seed Daniil Medvedev has led the men's tour with five titles and 39 wins in 2023, but Seyboth Wild rose to the occasion with an astonishing 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The Brazilian last competed in a Grand Slam main draw at the 2020 US Open and his reward is a second-round tussle with either Quentin Halys or Guido Pella.

Story of the match

It was clear from the opening exchanges that Seyboth Wild was going to swing freely and look to disrupt the world No.2's rhythm.

The 23-year-old wore down Medvedev in a 25-shot rally in the first set tiebreak, moments before rattling an inside-in forehand winner to steal the opener.

Medvedev used his Grand Slam pedigree to force his way back into the match, and a deft drop shot had Seyboth Wild skidding into the net.

However, relentless, brave hitting kept the qualifier in contention and into a second tiebreak. The rallies were becoming increasingly prolonged, with the majority finishing in Seyboth Wild's favour.

A crafty drop shot chalked up two set points for 6-4, but this time it unravelled. The Brazilian missed a routine forehand putaway and a simple overhead, gifting four points in row to allow the world No.2 to level.

The 2021 US Open champion's winning mentality clicked in and Medvedev scuttled forward to scoop a backhand crosscourt pass from down by his shoeslaces. His skills earned a thumbs up from Seyboth Wild as it seemed increasingly likely that Medvedev would march through to the finish.

But not so fast. The Brazilian, a two-time winner at ATP Challenger clay court tournaments this season, coped with the swirling wind and kept Medvedev off balance and off kilter.

The decider had the initiative switching hands until a firecracker forehand launched Seyboth Wild 4-3 up. The 23-year-old consolidated his advantage with a dinked volley to hold to love. It was time for Seyboth Wild to soak in the applause and revel in his finest moment.

Key stats

Asked during his on-court interview about his strategy to bring down the world No.2, Seyboth Wild simply said: "I just wanted to get angles, try to get to net as much as possible, try to use my forehand against his and it worked pretty well."

That's an understatement from the world No.172. Seyboth Wild went the net 55 times, winning 38 of those points.

As he'd hoped, his forehand was a real weapon to peg Medvedev back well behind the baseline. The Brazilian fizzed 47 of his 69 winners off that groundstroke wing. 

The 2018 US Open boys' singles champion, who defeated Lorenzo Musetti in the final in New York, is beginning to fulfil his potential.

Back in 2020, the Brazilian captured the Santiago title as a 19-year-old wild card, ousting Casper Ruud for the trophy and becoming the first ATP champion born in the 2000s. That’s some start. Is Paris the setting for the next step?

Meanwhile, for Medvedev, that’s a fifth first round exit in seven trips to Paris. He's still learning to love the Roland-Garros clay.

What the winner said  

From qualifying to winning on Court Philippe-Chatrier: "I've watched Daniil play for my entire junior career and up until today. 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."

A day to remember: “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.”

Thiago Seyboth Wild, Daniil Medvedev, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT

From being drawn versus Medvedev: “From the first day I knew it was going to be a tough match but I knew how to play. I have watched him play a thousand times already. I just had to believe in myself and believe in the work I have been doing. So, I had belief since the first day.”

Reasoning behind his form: “Paris is always a place I like to be, a very special tournament for me.

“I think that with the many times I've played here (three previous Q1 defeats) I could get the experience needed to qualify this year and get through the first round, but I think it's a momentum.

“It's not magic. It's not something you do out of the blue. It's just hard work and effort you put in every day.”