Wimbledon: Daniil Medvedev takes out No 3 seed Stan Wawrinka
Swiss player suffered knee injury on way to defeat against 21-year-old Russian
Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning the third set against Stan Wawrinka on day one of the Wimbledon Championships. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Daniil Medvedev got down on his knees, kissed the Centre Court grass and drank in the moment. As maiden Grand Slam victories go, knocking out the world No 3 on one of the biggest stages in tennis takes some topping.
The 21-year-old Russian, ranked 49th in the world after a promising run on grass, played without any inhibition and drowned out the nervous thoughts bouncing around his head to beat a hobbling Stan Wawrinka in four sets and cause the biggest upset on day one at Wimbledon.
“I’m just really happy,” a beaming Medvedev said after defeating the US Open champion 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 13 minutes. “My first Grand Slam win. I mean, Centre Court of Wimbledon.”
For Wawrinka, it was another demoralising SW19 experience. The Swiss arrived in London harbouring hopes of completing the career Slam and brought Paul Annacone, the former coach of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, into his team in a bid to hone his unconvincing game on grass.
Yet despite reaching last month’s French Open final, Wawrinka’s Wimbledon preparations received a blow when he lost in the first round of Queen’s to Feliciano Lopez and his challenge unravelled after hurting his left knee in the second set of his defeat to Medvedev.
Despite receiving extensive treatment after levelling the match, the fifth seed’s movement was restricted and Medvedev was ruthless. He pounced at the end of the third set to restore his advantage and peeled away from Wawrinka in the fourth.
His nerves briefly flared when he butchered two match points while serving at 5-1, but he took a third opportunity when Wawrinka, who was a potential quarter-final opponent for Andy Murray, chipped a return long. “Two breaks ahead I was more confident,” Medvedev said. “At 5-1 I had almost no thoughts I could lose this match.”