Day 2 Diary: Marathon man Giustino breaks six-hour barrier

A scintillating second day is done and dusted, here’s what you might have missed around the grounds.

Lorenzo Giustino, Roland Garros 2020, first round© Philippe Montigny/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

The usual suspects such as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams exemplified their greatness, but the second day of action at Roland-Garros was also filled with a selection of standout moments across the grounds. 

Here is what caught our eyes in Paris…

Giustino puts in gladiatorial effort in Moutet marathon 

This is the only place to start.

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Giustino had lost in qualifying 16 times prior to 2020. Now, on debut in Paris the world No.157 has rolled the ‘match of the day’ and ‘stat of the day’ into one exhilarating match.

French youngster Corentin Moutet bageled the first set, before a marathon commenced, so much so that the fifth set was exactly three hours! 

Unfortunately for Moutet he served for the second-round ticket three times, however, it was Giustino’s day to collapse to the clay following six hours and five minutes of play.

Lorenzo Giustino, Corentin Moutet, Roland Garros 2020, first round© Philippe Montigny/FFT

That was longer than his entire pro career in clay-court matches thus far.

The Italian posted 0-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(3), 2-6, 18-16 into the history books, just 28 minutes shy of the record longest match in Roland-Garros history.

He’ll sleep well tonight…

For Moutet, on home soil, it was pure heartache. “My feelings, I don't know. I don't feel anything in my body right now. I feel empty.”

Bucket hat brilliance

There have been some pretty bold looks on the tour in recent weeks. Eugenie Bouchard, into the second round to face Daria Gavrilova, rocked an Agassi-themed Nike outfit.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens certainly approved on social media.

Bublik channelling guile of Gael

“When I’m playing you, I’m supposed to do something” Alexander Bublik said across the net with a grin. The gregarious Kazakh had just clipped a delicious tweener lob over the trick-shot specialist Gael Monfils.

The Frenchman could see the funny side and retorted, “It was perfect.”

Bublik was in command and dispatched the eighth seed in four sets. The world No.49 inflicted Monfils’ first opening round loss at Roland-Garros since 2005.

Shock of the day

Iga Swiatek swept aside 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-2 in a blistering display, while Yoshihito Nishioka had all the answers to quell the threat of Canadian prodigy Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets.

However the shock of the day was under the moonlight. World No.63 Marton Fucsovics outmuscled fourth seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4 7-6(3) 2-6 6-1 to record a milestone triumph just prior to midnight.

"It's one of my biggest wins, the first time I beat a top-10 player,” said the Hungarian, having achieved such a win at the 15th attempt. 

"I wanted to show I'm a great player, that I can break into the top 10.”

Juvan in the cycle

Slovenian prodigy Kaja Juvan is another teenage sensation breaking onto the major stage. The 19-year-old swept aside three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3 before revealing a cycling connection.

“There's, like, a sports event at the end of the year in Slovenia that crowns the best sportsman. I got to meet Primoz Roglic. He's a great guy. He actually congratulated me for everything. I was pretty starstruck because he's the best cyclist in the world,” revealed Juvan having met the recent Tour de France runner up last year. 

It was a Slovenian one-two in cycling’s crown jewel, with Tadej Pogacar wearing the yellow jersey on the Champs-Élysées earlier this month.

Kaja Juvan, Roland Garros 2020, practice© Loïc Wacziak/FFT

“My coach wrote to them. I don't know if they got the message. I know they were pretty overwhelmed, both of them. I didn't want to disturb them too much in their flood of messages that came for sure. But I think they know that I wish them well, that they're doing something amazing for our country and also for their sport,” added the world No.103.

“In Slovenia I feel like all the sportsmen know how hard you have to work to get somewhere. Financially and also because we're so small, you don't get anything for free. We know how hard it is. Everyone is super nice. We try to help each other as much as we can.”

Juvan will hope for her very own Tour de France at Roland-Garros, which continues at Etage 2, facing fellow teenager, Clara Burel of France.

HAIRbert off the mark

French charge Pierre-Hugues Herbert is flamboyant enough with his all-court singles and doubles artillery. Now an aliceband and top knot are containing the world No.78’s lockdown locks.

Hairbert, sorry Herbert, moved to the second round with a straight-sets passage past Michael Mmoh.

Fernandez finds her feet

Last summer Leylah Fernandez held the trophy as the Roland-Garros girls' champion. Having transitioned to the pro game with consummate ease, the Canadian ticked off her main draw debut by taking out a seed.

The 18-year-old turned the tables 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 over 31st seed Magda Linette to chalk up a second round encounter with Polona Hercog.

Kiki camouflage does the trick

Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens took to court in her nation’s ‘Oranje’ on Monday. Perhaps the fifth seed was looking to match the terre battue on Court Suzanne-Lenglen to outfox Katarina Zavatska.

The Ukrainian youngster unfortunately ran out of racquets in an encapsulating contest, with Bertens emerging 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 to secure a duel with 2012 finalist Sara Errani.

In case you needed reminding

You might not know, Rafael Nadal is a pretty accomplished clay-courter. He has a meagre 12 Roland-Garros titles to his name.

The reigning champion might have lost count himself, so his trainers have a special ‘12’ printed on the side. Will it be No.13 for the ‘King of clay’?