Six hours and five minutes: Giustino triumphs in second longest French Open match

Paris (AFP) –


Italian qualifier Lorenzo Giustino outlasted France's Corentin Moutet 0-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 18-16 on Monday in the second longest match in French Open history at six hours and five minutes.

World number 157 Giustino secured his first Grand Slam main draw and tour-level win after a final set lasting 180 minutes in a match held over from Sunday.

Moutet won more points than Giustino -- 242 to 217 -- but the 29-year-old journeyman emerged the victor in a contest that fell 28 minutes short of the tournament's record marathon tie between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement in 2004.

Giustino will advance to play 12th seed Diego Schwartzman for a place in the third round. He is guaranteed at least 84,000 euros ($97,965) in prize money -- more than he made all of last year and doubling his earnings in 2020.

"In the end, well, the most aggressive, the guy who tried to win won the match," said Giustino, adding he felt "perfect" despite the gruelling workout.

"Both I think we don't want to lose the match. Nobody made a mistake in the important points, both we were like super solid and we played our best tennis in the best and most important points.

"So, of course like this you go 18-16 in the fifth. But in the end it was just like super aggressive. I mean, try to hit winners because I knew that him was not giving me the match."

Giustino had lost all four of his previous tour-level matches and reached a career high of 127 in August last year.

"I hope that this match can give me a boost in confidence to try to reach the top 100," he said.

As for Moutet, it was a bitter pill to swallow for a player who made the third round at the US Open as well as last year's French Open.

"My feelings, I don't know. We played a really long match, so I don't know. I don't feel anything in my body right now. I feel empty," said the 71st-ranked Moutet.