Family road trip to Paris pays off for lucky loser Trungelliti

Paris (AFP) –


Argentinian Marco Trungelliti embarked on a marathon road trip from Barcelona to Paris and was rewarded with victory over Bernard Tomic as a lucky loser in the French Open first round on Monday.

After a nine-hour drive of over 1,000 kilometres, the 28-year-old took to the court just 11 hours after arriving at Roland Garros and promptly beat Tomic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

The world number 190 had already returned to his base in Barcelona after losing in qualifying last week, but a spate of withdrawals saw a possible place in the main draw open up.

Nick Kyrgios, who was due to play fellow Australian Tomic at 1100 local time (0900 GMT) on Monday, became the eighth player to pull out of the draw on Sunday with an elbow injury.

Egyptian Mohamed Safwat was the seventh lucky loser before going down in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov, while next-in-line Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India was already in Italy for a Challenger Tour event.

With no qualifying losers still in Paris, Trungelliti took his chance and drove back to the French capital along with his brother, mother and grandmother.

He arrived in Paris at 2350 local time on Sunday, and organisers confirmed on Monday morning that he had done enough to secure the clash with Tomic.

Trungelliti showed no signs of fatigue, as he reached the second round for the third consecutive year and will next face either Italian Marco Cecchinato or Romania's Marius Copil.

A rule change this year has helped the cause of defeated qualifiers at Grand Slam tournaments.

If a player withdraws injured before their scheduled first-round match, they still receive half the prize money while the lucky loser takes the other half.

It is the first time there have been eight lucky losers in the men's singles of a Grand Slam in the Open era.