Pablo Andujar of Spain achieved an upset victory over fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, 4/6, 5/7; 6/3, 6/4, 6/4 yesterday at the French Open, where Naomi Osaka also yesterday defeated Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig 6/4, 7/6 (4) on a day the Tournament Referee fined her $15,000 for sticking to her decision to avoid mandatory media interviews.
Thiem won the first set on 6/4. Serving for the second set at 5-4, Andujar broke Thiem to level five-all. However, Thiem took the 11th game and held to win 7/5. Andujar took the third set 6/3. In the fourth set, Andular broke Thiem’s serve in the third game and cancelled two break points to hold 3-1. Despite reaching game point, conceded a second break for 4-1 lead. Thiem fought back to 4-3 but the Spaniard took the set, 6/4.
Andujar broke Thiem in the first game of the fifth set. In the second game, Thiem flicked a shot behind his back while Andujar netted the ball to lose his service game for one-all. Thiem was dominant in holding the third game on serve. After a prolonged rally, Andujar missed a drop shot for 0-15 and cancelled 30-40 to hold the five-minute game under windy conditions.
In the fifth game, Thiem was behind 0-40 on his serve and saved one break point before conceding the break. Andujar consolidated to 4-2 and Thiem held 4-3. Andujar led 30-0 in the eighth game while Thiem missed a sitter that would have leveled the game score and eventually lost for 5-3. The Austrian dropped a point with a double fault but held the ninth game. Serving for the set and match, Andular dropped the first point but raced to 40-15. He clinched the match when he delivered a forehand shot to a spot vacated by Thiem.
The tennis world had been engaged in reactions to a social media statement by Osaka that she would not engage the press at Roland Garros.
The organisers had discussions with her to look into any issues but there was no resolution. Therefore, the Four Major tournaments issued a joint statement, that “a core element of the Grand Slams is the responsibility of the players to engage with media, whatever the result of their match. Players accept the obligation for the benefit of the sport, the fans and themselves.”
The statement also warned Osaka of further stiffer sanctions, if she remained intransigent.
Kei Nishikori prevailed over Italy’s Alessandro Giannessi 6/4, 6/7 (4), 6/3, 4/6, 6/4 in the marathon of day one, while 11th-seeded Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic was taken the full stretch before defeating Greet Minnen of Belgium 7/6(3), 6/7(5), 6/1.
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