Stefanos Tsitsipas survives five-set thriller to advance to French Open second round



In the spotlight at Roland Garros, world number 4 and last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a first-round scare from 20-year-old Lorenzo Musetti.

After losing the first two sets, Tsitsipas bounced back to claim a 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory and advance to the second round of Roland-Garros.

It marked Musetti’s second brush with the instigation of a major upset at Roland Garros. In the fourth round last year, he took a two-set lead against Novak Djokovic before retiring injured in the fifth.

The match opened as it would eventually end – with Tsitsipas in complete control. He took a 4-1 lead in the first set and even had two break points for 5-1 but Musetti held, broke back and tied the set at 4-4.

After leading 4-5, Musetti then embarked on a seven-game winning streak to win the first set 7-5 and take control of the second set as well.

At the other end of the court, Tsitsipas struggled to build momentum as he made 16 unforced forehand errors in the opening two sets.

In the third set, however, the match turned upside down. Tsitsipas won 12 of the first 13 points and went on to claim a 6-2 win.

As Musetti was tired and Tsitsipas rallied, the Greek did light work in the final two sets to close out the win.

“My beahaviour [changed]”, Tsitsipas told Eurosport after the match.

“I didn’t feel very good in the first two sets, something was wrong with my game, but Lorenzo played very well, he didn’t give me the rhythm.

Tsitsipas hit 64 winners and 10 aces during the match.

“Of course, very happy that things ended this way. Things weren’t easy for me in the first two sets but positive, good effort at the end.

Tsitsipas will face Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar in the second round. His team of the draw is free of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, leaving him a clear race to the final for a chance to improve on his second-place finish last year.

Elsewhere in men’s singles, world number 2 Daniil Medvedev progressed to the second round with a 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over Facundo Bagnis. Fourteenth seed Denis Shapovalov, however, fell apart after a 6-3 6-1 7-6(4) loss to 19-year-old Holger Rune.

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