Daniil Medvedev can also take something positive from his completely surprising first-round exit against Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild at the French Open. "I'm always happy when the clay court season is over. So also today," said Medvedev after his five-set defeat in Paris.

"I've had my mouth full of sand since the third game of the match," said the 27-year-old, who can't get used to the ash surface at all despite his recent tournament victory at the Masters in Rome. "I don't know if people like to eat sand and have sand in their pockets, in their shoes and on their white socks. In any case, I don't like it."

"We can't control this"

Medvedev was considered a co-favorite for the title at Roland Garros despite his aversion. He has already won five tournaments this season, fighting his way up to second place in the world rankings. Now he is looking at the highlight of the grass season at Wimbledon, where the Russian was not allowed to participate last year due to the Ukraine war.

"I'm glad I can travel to the UK again," said Medvedev, who was also not worried about a possible negative attitude from the audience: "We can't control it. If people decide to be unfriendly, then so be it."

Meanwhile, the first five-set victory of his tennis career sent Yannick Hanfmann into raptures. For minutes, the 31-year-old from Karlsruhe was cheered on by the numerous German fans in eighth place at the Stade Roland Garros after his first-round thriller, took selfies with the supporters and gave away souvenirs. "I will never forget this day," Hanfmann said after midnight early Wednesday morning in Paris. "I'm extremely proud of that."

By beating Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 in 4:56 hours, he reached the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for only the second time ever. Shortly before the clay court classic in Paris, the world number 65. caused a stir by reaching the quarter-finals at the Masters tournament in Rome and two victories against professionals from the top ten. "I think I'm riding a small wave," he said. "I hope I ride them as far as I can."

Actually, Hanfmann had already failed to qualify at the French Open, but moved into the main draw as a so-called lucky loser due to the cancellation of an opponent. Now his greatest success at a Grand Slam tournament could follow against the Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo.

Alexander Zverev feels comfortable in a media outsider role at the French Open even after his successful return. "I really like being under the radar. I think it's calmer and more relaxed," said the 26-year-old Olympic champion after his at times arduous opening victory over South African Lloyd Harris.

One year after his serious injury in Paris, he feels a lot of attention from the spectators. "The less attention I have from the media, the better," said Zverev. Unlike last year, when he twisted his ankle in the semifinals against eventual winner Rafael Nadal, the former world number two is not one of the title contenders. Since his comeback, Zverev is still waiting for a victory over a top professional.

From his point of view, the 7: 6 (8: 6), 7: 6 (7: 0), 6: 1 over Harris does not allow too many conclusions for further appearances at the clay court classic. "I've never had a good first round at a Grand Slam in my life, so it's difficult to say," Zverev said on Tuesday. In the next round he meets the Slovak Alex Molcan and is again favored.

The memory of last year's injury drama did not play a role for him during his return. "As long as I'm not in pain, everything is fine with me," said Zverev. "Of course, sometimes I still have fluid or I have some pressure in my foot, then it's different to move."

Meanwhile, French crowd favorite Gaël Monfils put on a great show for the audience. The 36-year-old won in the first round against Argentinian Sebastián Báez 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 and celebrated victory early Wednesday morning after 3:47 hours.

In the closing stages, Monfils limped across the pitch between rallies and made faces. After the converted match point, the former semi-finalist hit his heart, dropped on the sand and enjoyed the moments with his eyes closed. The fans were already singing the Marseillaise during the game. In the second round, Monfils faces a very difficult task against number six seeded Dane Holger Rune.

After his bitter first-round exit in singles, Jan-Lennard Struff has now also failed in doubles. At the side of the Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, the world number 28 lost. in the first round against the Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6: 7 (1: 7), 6: 3, 3: 6.The day before, the second German hope next to Zverev had failed at his tricky opening hurdle.

The Warsteiner, who had caused a sensation in the run-up to the French Open by reaching the final at the Masters in Madrid, had to admit defeat to the Czech Jiri Lehecka 5: 7, 6: 1, 3: 6, 6: 3, 1: 6. Struff then focused on the grass season: "I'm up for the two German tournaments and also for Wimbledon," said the 33-year-old. "The season has been good so far, I'm trying to build on that. I'm looking forward to it."