Paris [France], June 1 (ANI): On Thursday at Roland Garros, World No. 79 Daniel Altmaier shocked Jannik Sinner in the second round with a thrilling comeback victory during the ongoing French Open.
Altmaier defeated Sinner by 6-7(0), 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-6(4), and 7-5.
At 4-5 in the fourth set on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Altmaier retained his composure superbly to win in an extraordinary decider after saving two match points on Sinner's serve. The 24-year-old German fought valiantly to win the match in five hours and 26 minutes and advance to the third round of the clay-court major for the second time, after failing to serve out the match at 5-4 and saving four match points in the tense final game.
"Playing every point you can with the best effort, that is what keeps you in reality," said Altmaier as quoted by ATP,"I was just thinking that, and the competition says it all. We have had historic matches with so many match points... I do not know if you can call this an 'historical' match, but I think it was one to remember," added Altmaier.
Altmaier and Sinner split their tie-break sets after a promising start, but the German looked out of gas as his higher-ranked opponent raced off five straight games to take the third set. However, Altmaier's fourth-set escape and fifth-set valour showed off his great stamina as he earned his first career five-set victory.
Altmaier battled Sinner from the baseline during the longest match at Roland Garros since Lorenzo Giustino's six-hour, five-minute victory over Corentin Moutet in 2020. With his elegant one-handed backhand, Altmaier produced a number of breathtaking victories. He was also ruthless at the net, winning 78 per cent (38/49) of the points when he was there.
Altmaier's victory made up for Sinner's five-set victory over him in their lone previous ATP Head2Head match at the 2022 US Open. The 28th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who earlier overcame Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4, will be his opponent in the third round.
Casper Ruud continued to build early momentum at the ongoing French Open 2023 as he overcame a spirited second-round challenge from Giulio Zeppieri on Thursday at the clay-court major.
The fourth seed downed the Italian qualifier 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Ruud put on a high-level all-around performance for much of the three-hour, four-minute match, but Zeppieri used his gritty lefty game to grab a foothold in the contest and win the third set. The Norwegian's consistently deep groundstrokes were vital in his triumph, as he converted five of 13 break points overall to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the fifth year in a row.
The 24-year-old continues his latest campaign in the French capital.
"It was a tough match. I started well, got a break early and served well myself. That's the beauty of best-of-five sets. In a normal match, I would have won 6-3, 6-2, but here you have the chance to fight like he did. He played much better in the third set and the fourth set and it became very tough," ATP.com quoted Ruud as saying in his on-court interview.
"In the end there also, I served for the match, and he played well, and it gets pretty physical out here. So, I am very happy to come through and not having to play a fifth set was nice today. I have extra time to recover for my next match."The Norwegian claimed his 10th tour-level crown in Estoril in April but has also suffered some surprise early exits. (ANI)