'This is crazy': Tennis world erupts over spine-tingling scenes

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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French tennis veteran Simon Gilles (pictured right) celebrates after winning his first round Roland Garros match.
French tennis veteran Simon Gilles (pictured right) defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in front of a raucous crowd in the early hours of the morning to extend his Roland Garros farewell. (Images: Twitter)

The tennis world has erupted over the incredible scenes surrounding French tennis star Gilles Simon after the veteran fought his way back in the early hours of the morning to extend his Roland Garros farewell.

The 36-year-old Frenchman steadied the ship to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4 in front of a raucous home crowd in the early hours of the morning.

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Tennis reporter Jose Morgado pointed out that the start of the match for the former World No.6 was in front of a tiny crowd late at night.

He pointed out a number of spectators that had hung around Roland Garros were initially barred entry.

This prompted some questions over why Simon was playing what could have been his final Roland Garros match without a warm crowd cheering him on.

However, tournament organisers opened the doors to the court for spectators who quickly flooded the arena to cheer on the beloved veteran.

Simon recorded his 499th ATP victory at 1.06am Paris time.

Simon's win is a huge turnaround after his first round qualifying loss at the Australian Open earlier this year.

The victory would have been hugely relieving for the veteran having gone 2-4 on Tour in 2022.

Simon will attempt to win his 500th ATP match against Steve Johnson in the second round of Roland Garros.

The Frenchman has reached the fourth round of Roland Garros in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Simon has won 14 titles at ATP level and has reached the quarter-final of the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga says goodbye to tennis

Fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga bowed out of the French Open in the first round and subsequently said goodbye to tennis in front of a heartwarming reception.

The tennis world rallied around Tsonga at Roland Garros after his 18-year career came to a close in the cruellest of fashion.

The Frenchman was granted a wildcard to compete at Roland Garros for the final tournament of his career after he made the heartbreaking call to retire last month.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (pictured) breaks down during his match against Casper Ruud during his farewell 2022 French Open match.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (pictured) breaks down during his match against Casper Ruud during his farewell 2022 French Open match. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

In devastating scenes, he was brought to tears as he battled injury and eventually went down fighting in a 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (7-4), 2-6, 6-7 (7-0) first round loss to World No.8 Casper Ruud.

Reduced to tears as he served to stay in the match, Tsonga was given a standing ovation by the home crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier, before being greeted on court by his former France Davis Cup teammates Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils.

There was barely a dry eye at centre court when a tribute video played on a big screen, featuring messages from some of the greats of the game - including Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

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