Happiness, batter in sand, are fully justified. Pablo Andújar has just knocked down Dominic Thiem after 4h 28m and thus signs the first pitch of this edition of Roland Garros. He does it in a big way, with a heroic comeback against the depressed Austrian (4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4), who lives bad times and for months, he says, is empty and he does not find himself. Paris, then, loses one of its main favorites, the finalist of 2018 and 2019, and suddenly enlightens a veteran who passed Cain’s to rejoin his sport and now he smiles more than happy, signing one shot after another.
Less than a week ago, Andújar beat Roger Federer in Geneva, on a day that will be remembered like gold in cloth. “I will be able to tell my grandchildren,” he told reporters. And this Sunday, again, his name rang out again. He rebuilt in the hard crossing with Thiem and ended up dispatching the four of the world, who since he achieved his first big, last year in the anomalous New York edition, he cannot raise his head and is deflating. His unforced error figure soared to 61 this time.
“I had never gone through a crisis like this,” the Austrian openly acknowledges, while the Cuenca player points out the appointment with Federico Delbonis or Radu Albot in the second season of the tournament. “For me, these two victories have been as if Santa Claus had come. They are gifts that tennis has given me ”, says the winner, who had never won two rounds nor had he defeated a top-5. “I do not know if it is the best moment of my career, but I do know that it is the moment of my career in which I am enjoying the most,” continues Andujar, who between 2016 and 2017 lived a hell that meant three operations on his right elbow .
“If this is my best victory? No, the best is Roger’s. I cannot detract from it, but Federer is Federer … I am the first surprised, this is very special for me “, he continues while demanding” to go back down to earth “, because on Wednesday he will return to the track and, why not , would like to break the barrier of the eighth that he signed two years ago at the US Open – his best record in a major – and, incidentally, erase the ugly statistics that accompanied him in Paris, where he had lost in the first round in the last three participations.
Andújar sweetened a day that Roberto Bautista, with yellow and blue trims adorning his shirt as a tribute to Villarreal, beat Mario Vilella (6-4, 6-4 and 6-2) and in which Pablo Carreño also advanced (6-3, 6-4 and 6-3 to Norbert Gombos) and Paula Badosa (6-2 and 7-6 (3) to Lauren Davies). Carlos Taberner failed to progress (7-6, 1-6, 6-0 and 6-2 for Safiullin). Meanwhile, this Monday, Garbiñe Muguruza (fourth turn of the session on the Simonne Mathieu court, starting at 11.00; Eurosport), Carlos Alcaraz (third at 12, against Bernabé Zapata) and Federer (Istomin , not before 4:00 p.m. at the headquarters) and Serena Williams (Irina-Camelia Begu, at 9:00 p.m.).