PARIS (Reuters) – While Frenchman Corentin Moutet was left wondering what went wrong in his marathon loss to Lorenzo Giustino in the first round of the French Open, his Italian opponent felt like going for a walk after more than six hours of play over two days.
Moutet was up a break twice in the decider before losing 0-6 7-6(7) 7-6(3) 2-6 18-16.
At six hours and five minutes, it was the second longest match at the French Open, after Fabrice Santoro beat Arnaud Clement in an all-French contest in six hours and 33 minutes in 2004.
Moutet lost the plot several times on court 14 where dozens of fans had gathered, forming by far the biggest crowd of the tournament which is admitting a maximum of 1,000 spectators a day amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“What’s his magic potion?” the Frenchman asked during the fifth set.
“I can’t manage a single drop shot while it’s (usually) the only thing I can do,” he also said to himself.
“It’s hard to take mentally. I feel empty,” he later told a news conference.
Giustino was in a much better mood, for obvious reasons.
Asked how he felt physically, the Italian qualifier said with a smile: “Perfect. I feel perfect. No. Perfect. Like tomorrow I go around a bit because I think I’m too fresh.”
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)