For world No. 1 Novak Djokovic was another ho-hum opener at the French Open on Tuesday.
For two men hoping to take Djokovic’s title as the best in the world one day, it was anything but.
Djokovic crossed past Mikael Ymer from Sweden 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 for his 16th straight opening win at Roland Garros. He went 60-2 all the time in the first round at a Grand Slam event.
However, Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece and Andrey Rublev from Russia each needed to recover from two sets to move on to the second round. The 22-year-olds met either another Sunday in a three-set final in Hamburg, won by Rublev, before going to the cold and humid Paris.
Tsitsipas, the tournament’s No. 5 seed, persevered on Tuesday to beat Jaume Munar of Spain 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 12 minutes.
“I do not think I have ever played a match like this before,” said Tsitsipas. “The feelings and nerves in the beginning were not there, but [I made] small adjustments and tried to find a way to win, another way. “
Tsitsipas beat 36 of his 54 winners on the day in the last three sets to turn around his fortunes.
“It did not work for me in the beginning. Nothing worked … But I am really proud of myself, the effort I put in and how much commitment.”
No. 13 seed Rublev survived American Sam Querrey 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 in a match between two large servers.
Querrey landed 29 aces and won 65 percent of his first serve points; for Rublev it was 23 aces and 77 first serves. But Rublev was able to take advantage of the mistakes. Querrey doubled 11 times and had 62 involuntary errors against 80 winners. Rublev beat 64 winners but limited his involuntary errors to 20.
It was the first time Rublev collected from two sets during his career to win a match.
Other winners of the day were No. 7 Matteo Berrettini from Italy, No. 9 Denis Shapovalov from Canada, No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain, No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria, No. 20 Cristian Garin from Chile and No. 21 Dusan Lajovic from Serbia.
– Field level media