Sports, Tennis

Medvedev beats Terence Atmane, Bautista Agut

Published : 15 Jan 2024 09:44 PM

Frenchman Terence Atmane smashed his racquet, served underarm and retired in tears as he dealt with serious cramp in pushing third seed Daniil Medvedev hard at the Australian Open on Monday.

The qualifier struggled in the searing heat on Margaret Court Arena, stunning the Russian by taking the first set but was unable to continue when trailing 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0.

"The conditions were brutal," said two-time tournament finalist Medvedev. "The more he (Atmane) plays this intensity, the better he will be prepared."

Medvedev broke for 2-1 in the opening set and raced to 5-3, but a battling Atmane levelled the score at 5-5 when Medvedev missed a volley.

With his confidence building, the Frenchman, on his Grand Slam debut, held serve then broke again to take the set and leave the world number three shaking his head in disbelief.

Medvedev woke up to steam through the second set before Atmane started cramping badly.

He resorted to underarm serves as he struggled to move and demolished his racquet when he lost serve to slip 2-1 behind in the third set.

The 22-year-old gamely battled on, still in pain, mixing underarm and overarm serves as Medvedev cashed in to take the third set.

But after losing the first game of the fourth set, he was forced to retire, sobbing as his tournament ended.

Ben Shelton eased into the second round at Melbourne Park by beating Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 and reflected on his life-changing 12 months.