Tennis-Medvedev downplays French Open title chances after Geneva exit


Tennis - ATP 250 - Geneva Open - Tennis Club de Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland - May 17, 2022 Russia's Daniil Medvedev in action during his second round match against France's Richard Gasquet REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - World number two Daniil Medvedev has downplayed his chances of mounting a serious challenge at the French Open after the Russian went down to Richard Gasquet at the Geneva Open on Tuesday in his first match back since hernia surgery.

The U.S. Open champion, who last played at the Miami Open at the end of March, was beaten 6-2 7-6(5) by Gasquet at the ATP 250 claycourt event.

"I don't play my best tennis on clay courts," he told reporters. "I know that I'm capable of making some good results, as I did in the past. But for this I kind of need to be in the zone.

"I don't feel as confident on clay as on other surfaces, that's why I lost 7-5 in the tie-break ... it's disappointing but I've had tougher losses in my career."

The 26-year-old said his body struggles to handle clay and that he would need to raise his game if he was to pose a threat to the likes of Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the major, which gets underway on Sunday.

"Clay for my body is the most dangerous surface. For me it's clay courts - every time, every year I have some problems where I cannot be 100%," said Medvedev, who reached the quarter-finals at last year's Roland Garros.

"I'm not a favourite ... but I do want to play well. If I can find my level again, I can be dangerous."

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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