Mixed fortunes for French Open’s record 132 lượt xem
PARIS, May 30 — There were an Open-era record eight lucky losers in the men’s singles first round w88 at Roland Garros, as a spate of players withdrew injured following changes to the rules regarding prize money. The eight have produced some of the stories of the early stages of the 2018 French Open, from a roadtripping grandmother to an Egyptian world number 182 making his Grand Slam debut on Court Philippe Chatrier. AFP Sport takes a look at who made their good fortune pay off, and who saw their luck run out: Trungelliti must be the luckiest loser of the lot.
The 28-year-old Argentinian had already returned to his base in Barcelona after losing in qualifying, before hearing that there might be a place after Nick Kyrgios pulled out. With how to play poker eighth-in-line Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India already playing a Challenger Tour event in Italy, Trungelliti drove 1,000km for 10 hours with his grandmother, mother and brother to Paris, arriving 11 hours before his first-round match with Bernard Tomic. The world number 190 duly went and won 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 against the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist. Lucky number seven was Egypt’s world number 182 Safwat.
The 27-year-old had stuck around in Paris on the off-chance he would find a space in the draw, and he was told with an hour’s notice that he would be playing fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov on Philippe Chatrier. He lost 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), but was the first Egyptian to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam since 1996. The 30-year-old Zopp was beaten by American Denis Kudla in the final round of qualifying last Thursday. But a spot in the main draw opened up and the world number 136 took advantage in some style, mansion88 downing 14th seed and Paris Masters champion Jack Sock 6-7 (7/4), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
The Estonian’s win was his first at a Grand Slam since Roland Garros in 2014. Next up for Zopp is Belgian Ruben Bemmelmans, guaranteeing there will be at least one lucky loser in the third round. Bemmelmans,m88 sportsbetter known for his Davis Cup doubles exploits, saw off Indian Yuki Bhambri 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 yesterday. Second-round losers take home €79,000 (RM363,214) in prize money, with a further €51,000 on offer for making it to the last 32. That’s 109,000 more than a lucky loser’s original sum for their third-round qualifying defeat.