(Melbourne) World No.3 Daniil Medvedev lost the first set against Terence Atmane (144th) in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday, before benefiting from the French qualifier’s retirement in the fourth set, overtaken by cramps.

Medvedev, playing his very first match of the 2024 season, finally won 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0 in just over two and a half hours.

Before that, the ex-N. 1 in the world was surprised by the 22-year-old Frenchman in the first set, after leading 5 games to 3.

But after less than two hours of the match, at the start of the third set (at 1-1), Atmane was suddenly attacked by leg cramps and found himself unable to serve, except with a spoon, and to play .

Break, break, then another break: if Medvedev, left thigh massaged a little later, had difficulty capitalizing on the failure of his opponent, a newcomer to the Grand Slam, it was nevertheless he who took the lead two sets at A. And Atmane, who ended up in tears on his bench, chose to give up early in the fourth set, in the second game.

“It hasn’t been hot like this the last few days. I started to feel physically tough in the third set, I raised my head, and that’s exactly the moment he started cramping,” Medvedev said.

“It was a tough match. I didn’t really know him. I played poorly at the start of the third set, but I’m happy to have regained control of the match,” he added.

In the second round, the double finalist of the Australian Open (2021 and 2022) will face the Finn Emil Ruusuvuori (53rd).