By Andy Sims, PA, Paris
Second seed Daniil Medvedev enjoyed a comfortable passage into the second round of the French Open with his opponent clearly struggling with an injury.
The US Open champion beat Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, whose calf was heavily strapped and who at one point collapsed while serving, 6-2 6-2 6-2.
Bagnis could lose some of his prize money if tournament bosses deem he played while injured, but the 32-year-old insisted: “I think I tried to give my best.”
Medvedev, barred from playing at Wimbledon due to the ban on Russian players, could still become world number one afterwards due to the ATP’s decision to strip the tournament of its ranking points, as defending champion Novak Djokovic would lose the 2,000 points he would otherwise be defending.
“Very strange,” he admitted, “I need to be honest, but yeah, as I said last time, I’d be really happy to play Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon. I love playing on grass. I will play on grass after Roland Garros.
“But if I cannot, I mean, (I’m) just going to prepare for next tournaments, and, you know, just follow what’s happening there. (If) there are no points, I become number one, well, great for me.
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“If there are points, I cannot become number one, I’m going to be gutted. It is what it is. I cannot change some decisions, both about ATP and Wimbledon.”
Denis Shapovalov was a surprise first-round casualty early on day three.
The Canadian world number 15, who beat Rafael Nadal – albeit an injured version – on clay just a couple of weeks ago, lost 6-3 6-1 6-4 7-6 (4) to Danish teenager Holger Rune.
“I didn’t really show up today, so it’s a little bit difficult,” he said. “Of course, Holger is playing some great tennis, he won his first title, he’s pushing some top guys.
“So not taking anything away from him, obviously he’s playing great tennis. But I think against most players today I wouldn’t come out the winner.”
Shapovalov is another of the players whose world ranking is going to suffer, having made the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year.
Asked if he was among the growing number of players who are considering not playing at SW19, he said: “I haven’t decided anything yet.
“I knew it’s going to be very important to get as many points as possible here. So unfortunately, that didn’t go greatly.
“The most guys it’s affecting are the guys in the top rankings. Obviously Novak, me, Hubi (Hubert Hurkacz), Matteo Berrettini, we’re going to drop a lot.
“So it’s difficult for the players when you don’t have a chance to defend (points) and especially on a surface like grass, where it’s already so short and the players that play well on that surface don’t have that many opportunities to make points.
“So you take a huge chunk of it out, it’s super difficult for players.”
A tearful Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brought the curtain down on his career to a rapturous reception from his home crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrie.
The 37-year-old took the first set against eighth seed Casper Ruud, but by the end the ailing two-time semi-finalist could barely serve as Ruud won 6-7 (6) 7-6 (4) 6-2 7-6 (0).