Five Challenger Tour Players To Watch At Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 27, 2023

Five Challenger Tour Players To Watch At Roland Garros

Seyboth Wild aims to upset Medvedev in opening round looks at five Challenger Tour players to keep your eyes on during Roland Garros.

Luca Van Assche
The Frenchman is a three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion and notched his maiden tour-level victory at last month’s ATP 250 event in Estoril. Van Assche then defeated Stan Wawrinka in Banja Luka before taking a set off Novak Djokovic.

The #NextGenATP star will look to build upon his momentum to collect his first Grand Slam main draw victory against Marco Cecchinato, who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2018.

Van Assche graduated to the Challenger Tour following a standout junior career. In 2021, he claimed the Roland Garros boys’ singles title. Having just turned 17 when he lifted the trophy, Van Assche became the fifth home favourite to triumph in the event since the start of the millennium, joining Paul-Henri Mathieu, Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Geoffrey Blancaneaux. One year ago, Frenchman Gabriel Debru joined them.

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Alexander Shevchenko
At a career-high No. 84 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Shevchenko collected titles at the Tenerife and Madrid Challengers this year. In March, the 22-year-old went on a dream run at the Challenger 175 event in Phoenix, where he defeated Gael Monfils and Matteo Berrettini en route to a finalist finish.

At the Mutua Madrid Open, Shevchenko displayed his heavy forehand and all-court coverage en route to a third-round appearance (l. Medvedev). Making his Grand Slam debut, Shevchenko opens against German Oscar Otte.

Hamad Medjedovic
The 19-year-old has tallied a 17-9 record this year in Challengers and this month became the third Serbian teenager to win a trio of ATP Challenger Tour titles, joining Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic.

Ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race, Medjedovic advanced through Roland Garros qualifying, where he defeated Ivan Gakhov, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, and Jesper de Jong. In the final round against De Jong, the Serbian rallied after dropping the opening set 0-6.

Medjedovic, who is making his first Grand Slam appearance, will meet American Marcos Giron in the opening round.

Juan Pablo Varillas
The Peruvian will be hungry for a first Grand Slam main-draw victory after letting slip a two-sets-to-love lead last year in Paris against Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 27-year-old found himself locked in another battle against an ATP Tour star in January, when he pushed Alexander Zverev to five sets at the Australian Open.

The World No. 97, who is a five-time ATP Challenger Tour champion, will face Chinese teenager Shang Juncheng in the first round.

Thiago Seyboth Wild
The 23-year-old has won 21 of his past 24 Challenger-level matches, with titles in Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires. After advancing through qualifying, the World No. 172 will aim for the biggest win of his career in the first round when he clashes against second seed Daniil Medvedev. Should Seyboth Wild pull the upset, it would be his first Grand Slam main-draw win.

Seyboth Wild’s four titles across all levels have each come on clay. In 2021, the Brazilian went on a breakthrough title run at the ATP 250 event in Santiago.

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