Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pablo Andujar beats two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem in French Open

In French Open, Spaniard Pablo Andujar made a remarkable recovery from being two sets down, for the first time in his career, to beat a top-5 player when he shocked fourth seed Austrian Dominic Thiem 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first-round.

World No. 68 Andujar took full advantage of Thiem’s lapses in concentration on way to upsetting the 2018 and 2019 finalist in over four hours and 28 minutes. Andujar will now play either Moldovan Radu Albot or Federico Delbonis of Argentina. In other action, Italian No. 27 seed Fabio Fognini struck 31 winners in a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win over French wild card Gregoire Barrere in two hours and eight minutes. Fognini now plays Hungary 39;s Marton Fucsovics, who beat Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (5) over three hours and 13 minutes.

British No. 1 Dan Evans’s search for a maiden French Open title continued after he went down to 21-year-old Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round. In the women’s section, No. 11 seed Petra Kvitova played some of her best tennis as she saved a match point in a first-round against Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, and won 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-1 to stay afloat.

Had the Czech player lost it would have been the first time in 11 years that she had gone down in the first round. Earlier, world No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan got her campaign off to a strong start with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over 63rd-ranked Romanian Patricia Maria Tig.

The four-time Grand Slam title winner, seeking her first second-week showing at the clay court major, fended off a spirited challenge from Patricia in one hour and 47 minutes.

In other first-round matches, No. 33 seed Paula Badosa of Spain continued her fine clay court season with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win over Lauren Davis of the US. Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina upset former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2, 6-4 in an hour-and-a-half-long contest.

American Danielle Collins, who had not played since the Miami Open in March and recently underwent surgery to treat endometriosis, overcame Chinese qualifier Wang Xiyu in two hours and 15 minutes, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Meanwhile, Japanese star Naomi Osaka was threatened with disqualification from the French Open if she continues her media boycott.

World No. 2 Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam title winner and sport’s highest-earning female athlete, was fined $15,000 on Sunday for refusing to hold a press conference after her opening win against Patricia Maria Tig.

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