Stan Wawrinka, the No. 5 seed at Wimbledon, fell in four sets to unseeded 21-year-old Daniil Medvedev, who claimed both his first career victory over a top-five player and first victory at Wimbledon.
Wawrinka, who finished as runner-up at the French Open, entered the match with a nagging left knee injury. The Swiss player looked uncomfortable for much of the match, and he had his trainers wrap his knee in ice in between sets. While the knee was likely in part to blame, Wawrinka didn’t help himself out much, finishing the match with 39 unforced errors. The loss to the world No. 49 is the second first-round exit Wawrinka’s suffered recently; he also struggled on the grass courts at Queen’s, losing in the first round of that tournament.
At points in the second and third sets, it seemed as though Wawrinka had the potential to rebound following his slow start—as he did in the Australian Open against Martin Klizan—but Medvedev, playing in just his third Grand Slam, managed his game well. Medvedev forced Wawrinka to lunge about Centre Court long enough to wear out the injured star and claim a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over the world No. 3.
After the match, Medvedev recounted his ranking from just a year ago (No. 250) and sounded as surprised as everyone else at his victory.
“I’m just really happy, my first grand slam win, Centre Court of Wimbledon.
“Even one year ago I was 250 in the rankings, if someone had told me I would play on Centre, not even win, I would say you are joking.
“I have had a really great grass-court season, I knew Stan had some problems at Queen’s so I knew I would have my chance.
“It’s my favourite tournament, my first grand slam win, so I had to kiss the grass.”
Wimbledon remains the only Grand Slam Wawrinka has yet to win. Should he eventually rebound from this first-round loss and claim the title in the future, he’ll become one of nine men to complete the career Slam.