'Oh my God': Fans in shock over 'crazy' French Open drama

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Lorenzo Giustino, pictured here after beating Corentin Moutet at the French Open.
Lorenzo Giustino beat Corentin Moutet in the second-longest match at the French Open ever. Image: Getty

Lorenzo Giustino and Corentin Moutet have played out the second-longest match in French Open history, battling it out for six hours and five minutes at Roland Garros.

Italian qualifier Giustino outlasted his French opponent 0-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 18-16 on Monday.

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World No.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.

It was also the eighth-longest singles match in tennis history.

Giustino will advance to play 12th seed Diego Schwartzman for a place in the third round.

He is guaranteed at least 84,000 euros ($139,000) 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.”

Corentin Moutet, pictured here in action against Lorenzo Giustino at the French Open.
Corentin Moutet plays a forehand against Lorenzo Giustino at the French Open. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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,” the World No.71 said.

“I don’t feel anything in my body right now. I feel empty.”

Needless to say, fans and commentators were left in a state of shock over the historic marathon match.

Nadal and Serena ease into second round

Meanwhile, claycourt master Rafael Nadal has started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov.

The Spaniard, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 grand slam men's singles titles, is used to slow starts at Roland Garros and this year's debut was no different.

On the revamped court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof stayed open throughout, Nadal converted all of his five break points to set up a meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem cruised to a 6-4 6-3 6-3 first round win over Croatia's Marin Cilic earlier on Monday.

In other men’s play, 19th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime lost to Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 7-5 6-3 6-3.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams battled sluggish conditions to defeat fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6 (7-2) 6-0.

The 39-year-old had to dig deep to find a way to win points in the cold and heavy conditions and needed five match points to seal the victory and set up a second round meeting against Tsvetana Pironkova, who beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3.

Earlier, seventh seed Petra Kvitova eased through to the second round after she completed a 6-3 7-5 win against France’s Oceane Dodin under the roof of Court Philippe Chatrier.

Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens survived a scare in her tie with Ukraine's Katarina Zavatska as Bertens battled from a set down to prevail 2-6 6-2 6-0.

And Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina is also through after she eliminated Varvara Gravcheva of Russia 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 and will play Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua next.

with agencies

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