|Medvedev fell to a shock early exit from the Paris Masters. AFP/VNA Photo|
PARIS — Daniil Medvedev suffered a shock second-round defeat by French world number 65 Jeremy Chardy at the Paris Masters on Tuesday, ending his bid to reach a seventh straight final, while his fellow Russian Karen Khachanov's title defence met a quick end.
Medvedev, who has climbed to world number four after his brilliant run of form, took the opening set but slipped to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss at Bercy Arena.
"It's a shame. At first, I was angry (after the match) for 10-15 minutes, but afterwards you understand that it's life," said the 23-year-old.
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Even though I lost, I can take it as an experience."
Chardy, roared on by the home crowd in the French capital, saved nine break points in a dramatic deciding set to book a last-16 clash against either 15th seed John Isner or Chile's Cristian Garin.
Medvedev's run of finals dated back to July, during which he had claimed the Cincinnati and Shanghai Masters titles and lost an epic US Open championship match to Rafael Nadal.
The second set on Tuesday ended a streak of 19 consecutive sets won by Medvedev, while the eventual loss snapped a nine-match winning run.
He appeared in control after breaking in the 10th game to seal the opener, but grew frustrated as Chardy hit back to level.
The fourth seed dominated for much of the third, but time and again Chardy held on, staving off three break points in the second game and four more in the fourth.
Medvedev cracked to trail 4-3, and although he carved out another break-point opportunity as Chardy served for the match, the qualifier recovered to close out victory.
"At the end there everything was shaking, but I had nothing to lose," said Chardy.
Earlier on Tuesday, defending champion Khachanov lost 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-5 to German Jan-Lennard Struff.
Khachanov beat four top-10 players, including Novak Djokovic in the final, to win the 2018 tournament, but was knocked out after an indifferent second-round display this time around.
The early exit ends the world number eight's slim hopes of qualifying for next month's ATP Tour Finals in London.
Struff, ranked 36th, will next face either former Bercy winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Italian 10th seed Matteo Berrettini in the last 16.
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev boosted his hopes of qualifying for next month's ATP Tour Finals, where he would be the defending champion, by swatting aside Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-3.
The 22-year-old, who holds the seventh and penultimate qualifying place, thrashed Verdasco in under an hour and will take on either Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov or Monte Carlo Masters winner Fabio Fognini in the third round.
Shapovalov, who won his maiden ATP title in Stockholm a fortnight ago, booked his spot in the second round for the first time when his opponent Gilles Simon retired injured with the opening set level at 2-2 in their match.
Lucky loser Corentin Moutet became the fifth Frenchman to reach the last 32 this week with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic to set up a tie with world number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.
"I don't want to say that I'm impressed by him or any other player," Moutet said of Djokovic.
Elsewhere, Kyle Edmund ended an eight-match losing streak by beating Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-3 to boost his hopes of being selected for Britain's Davis Cup finals squad.
Australian youngster Alex de Minaur, who lost to Roger Federer in the Basel final on Sunday, saw off Laslo Djere 6-1, 6-4, while Taylor Fritz won an all-American clash with Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-4.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov came from behind to see off home wildcard Ugo Humbert 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. — AFP