'Can't believe it': Tennis fans stunned by 'crazy' French Open drama

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Stefanos Tsitsipas, pictured here after beating Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas came back from two-sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open. Image: Getty

The tennis world was left in disbelief at the French Open on Tuesday as title favourite Stefanos Tsitsipas came within a whisker of being knocked out in the first round.

Tipped by some to win his first grand slam title at Roland Garros this year, Tsitsipas came back from two-sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2.

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The Greek star needed more than three-and-a-half hours to turn things around and get past his Italian opponent, one year after blowing a two-set lead in the 2021 French Open final against Novak Djokovic.

The World No.4 has not lost in the first round in Paris since his debut in 2017.

The 23-year-old has progressed further with each appearance, getting to the second round in 2018, the fourth in 2019, the semi-finals in 2020, and then losing the title match to Djokovic in five sets a year ago.

Musetti, the World No.66, also took a two-set lead against Djokovic at last year's French Open before he was forced to retire in the fifth set of their fourth-round match because of injury.

The Italian made a flying start against Tsitsipas on Tuesday, before a familiar power failure that saw Tsitsipas comfortably pocket the next three sets.

Tsitsipas came into the tournament on the back of a successful defence of his Monte Carlo title and a runner-up finish in Madrid.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, pictured here after beating Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

He also has a season-leading 32 wins after his improbable comeback to beat Musetti.

"It was positive and a good effort in the end," Tsitsipas said.

"I wasn't feeling very good in the first two sets, something was off with my game. Lorenzo wasn't giving me any rhythm."

Tennis fans were left gobsmacked by the crazy drama.

Daniil Medvedev cruises into French Open second round

Earlier, World No.2 Daniil Medvedev took less than 100 minutes to progress, beating Facundo Bagnis 6-2 6-2 6-2.

Medvedev brushed aside Bagnis, whose calf was heavily strapped and at one point collapsed while serving.

The 32-year-old is now facing the possibility of being docked his prize money if it is ruled he played while injured.

"I love Roland Garros, especially since last year," said Medvedev, who lost in the opening round on his first four appearances in Paris before reaching the quarter-finals in 2021.

"I hope this year I can go further."

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov lost 6-3 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to young gun Holger Rune in a huge first-round shock.

"I didn't really show up today, so it's a little bit difficult," Shapovalov said.

"Of course, Holger is playing some great tennis, he won his first title, he's pushing some top guys.

"So not taking anything away from him. But I think against most players today I wouldn't come out the winner."

And former World No.5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bid an emotional goodbye to tennis after losing in the first round to Casper Ruud.

The 37-year-old Frenchman was beaten 7-6 (6-8), 6-7 (4), 2-6, 6-7 (0) by the Norwegian eighth seed.

"I hope the world can soon find as much peace I found today," Tsonga said.

"Thank you Roland Garros. Thank you Mister Tennis. I love you."

with agencies

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