Karlovic Claims Win On Day Of Upsets At Roland Garros
Three of top four seeds fall on Day 1 of qualifying
The 41-year-old, seeded 19th in the qualifying draw, struck 44 winners and saved four of five break points to overcome the American. Karlovic is bidding to make his 15th appearance in the main draw in Paris. The Croat achieved his best results at the clay-court Grand Slam championship in 2014 and 2016, when he reached the third round.
At last year’s event, Karlovic defeated Feliciano Lopez in four sets to become the oldest player to win a main draw match at the tournament since 44-year-old Torben Ulrich in 1973. Karlovic will face Benjamin Bonzi in his next match. The Frenchman rallied from a set down to beat Zdenek Kolar 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Three of the top four seeds fell in Day 1 action in Paris. Emilio Gomez of Ecuador took just 79 minutes to eliminate top seed Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-3, 6-2. Gomez did not face a break point throughout his match against the #NextGenATP Brazilian, who captured his maiden ATP Tour trophy in Santiago in March.
Competing in the qualifying draw for the sixth straight year, Elias Ymer beat third seed Christopher O’Connell 7-5, 6-4 to reach the second round. Ymer broke serve on four occasions to end O’Connell’s maiden appearance at the event. At the US Open, O’Connell claimed his first Grand Slam victory to book a second-round clash against eventual semi-finalist Daniil Medvedev. Ymer will next face Sebastian Ofner, who beat Alexey Vatutin 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Lukas Rosol came from a set down to move past fourth seed Pedro Sousa 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4. The 35-year-old Czech will meet Michael Mmoh for a spot in the final qualifying round. Mmoh won 82 per cent of first-serve points (31/38) to defeat Alex Bolt 6-4, 6-3.
Second seed Pedro Martinez avoided another shock on Day 1. The Spaniard outlasted Daniel Masur of Germany 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Martinez faces Robin Haase in the second round. The 33-year-old moved past Joao Domingues 6-1, 7-5.
Appearing in the qualifying draw for the first time since 2013, former World No. 8 Jack Sock beat Denmark’s Mikael Torpegaard 6-2, 6-4. The 2017 Rolex Paris Masters champion will meet Facundo Bagnis in the second round. The 24th seed raced past Jay Clarke of Great Britain 6-1, 6-4.
Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic caused another shock on Day 1, saving two match points to defeat Carlos Alcaraz 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Alcaraz led 6-4, 5-2 and held two match points when serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but the Australian rallied to secure a memorable win in two hours and 15 minutes.
Alcaraz entered the tournament in fine form, having reached back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour finals on clay in Trieste (d. Bonadio) and Cordenons (l. to Zapata Miralles) in recent weeks. Vukic will next meet Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who beat Cem Ilkel 6-3, 6-1.