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Wild shock for Medvedev, Djokovic accused of fanning political flames, Fernandez beaten

PARIS — Daniil Medvedev became the highest-ranked player to exit the French Open after losing a marathon encounter against Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild on a windy Tuesday, while Novak Djokovic found himself at the center of a political storm.

Iga Swiatek gave herself an early birthday gift a day before turning 22 by dismissing Cristina Bucsa 6-4 6-0 as world number seven Ons Jabeur beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-4 6-1 and 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva earned her first Grand Slam main draw win.

World number two Mr. Medvedev emerged as a surprise contender for the Paris title following his Rome triumph but the Russian blew his chance in gusty conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier as Wild sealed a 7-6(5) 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

Kosovo’s tennis federation said Novak Djokovic risked aggravating an already tense situation after the world number three wrote on a camera lens that Kosovo was “the heart of Serbia” following his first-round win a day earlier.

Some 30 NATO peacekeeping soldiers were injured on Monday in clashes with Serbian protesters in the northern Kosovo town of Zvecan, where Mr. Djokovic’s father grew up.

“The comments made by Djokovic at the end of his match against Aleksandar Kovacevic, his statements at the post-match conference and his Instagram post are regrettable,” Kosovo tennis federation chief Jeton Hadergjonaj said.

The French Tennis Federation, which organizes the Roland Garros tournament, said in a statement: “The same rules apply to all four Grand Slams. The tournament referee and Grand Slam Supervisors ensure that these rules are complied with.

“Messages are passed on to the teams of any players concerned by such matters.”

Last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud advanced to the next round by thumping Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer 6-4 6-3 6-2 and he was joined by sixth seed Holger Rune who dug deep to get past Christopher Eubanks 6-4 3-6 7-6(2) 6-2.

Alexander Zverev exited Roland Garros in agony last year after rolling his ankle during his semifinal against Rafa Nadal but the German celebrated a winning return by beating Lloyd Harris 7-6(6) 7-6(0) 6-1.

Veteran Gael Monfils lit up Court Philippe Chatrier in the night session with a scintillating performance as the 36-year-old Frenchman dug deep to battle past Argentine Sebastian Baez 3-6 6-3 7-5 1-6 7-5.

TEENAGE SENSATIONMs. Andreeva announced herself to the world when she stunned 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez 6-3 6-4 in Madrid last month and also defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia and Magda Linette before falling to eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka.

The Russian qualifier broke new ground at the majors with a 6-2 6-1 win over former world number 18 Alison Riske-Amritraj.

Brenda Fruhvirtova, another 16-year-old seeking a statement win, crashed out following a 6-4 6-2 defeat by Elena Rybakina as the Wimbledon champion continued her quest for a second Grand Slam title.

American sixth seed Coco Gauff also shook off a slow start to seal a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Spain’s Rebeka Masarova but it was bad news for former world number one Victoria Azarenka who was dumped out by Canada’s Bianca Andreescu 2-6 6-3 6-4. — Reuters

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