Lopez Falls In Roland Garros Qualifying As Grand Slam Streak Ends
The Spaniard’s record streak of consecutive Grand Slam singles main draw appearances came to an end against Gian Marco Moroni in the first round of qualifying for the clay-court major in Paris. Lopez had appeared at every Grand Slam since Roland Garros in 2002.
Italian Moroni defeated the 40-year-old Spaniard, 6-1, 7-6(4). Lopez reached four Grand Slam quarter-finals during his streak. Three of those came at Wimbledon (2005, 2008, 2011) and one at the US Open (2015).
Andreas Seppi, who entered qualifying this week having appeared in 66 consecutive major main draws back to Wimbledon in 2005, would have taken over the longest active streak after Lopez's loss. However the 38-year-old Italian fell to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to countryman and #NextGenATP contender Giulio Zeppieri on Monday. Seppi made six fourth-round Grand Slam appearances during his streak — four times at the Australian Open (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018), once at Wimbledon (2013) and once at Roland Garros (2012).
That result leaves World No. 20 Grigor Dimitrov with the longest active streak of main draw appearances at major tournaments, according to the ITF. The Bulgarian is set to appear in his 45th consecutive Grand Slam main draw in Paris next week.
Fernando Verdasco remains in contention for a main draw spot in Paris after the Spaniard defeated Damir Dzumhur, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, on Tuesday. Verdasco is a consistent performer in the French capital, having reached the fourth round there seven times, including four years in a row from 2007 to 2010. Another former Top 10 star bowed out at the first hurdle, however, as Daniel Masur ran out a 7-6(6), 6-4 winner over four-time tour-level titlist Jack Sock.
Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals contender Luca Nardi’s bid for a maiden Grand Slam main draw appearance started well, with the 18-year-old Italian overcoming the experienced Andrej Martin, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3. Nardi, who sits 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, next faces another prospect, 22-year-old Briton Paul Jubb, who defeated Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-6(10-4).
There was a dramatic win for World No. 186 Tennys Sandgren, who recovered from 3-6, 1-5 against top seed Thiago Monteiro to prevail 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6 (10-8) in a three-hour, one-minute epic. Sandgren, a two-time quarter-finalist at the Australian Open, has won one main draw match in five appearances at Roland Garros.
Other winners on Tuesday included Juan Manuel Cerundolo, who eased past wild card Luca Van Assche 6-3, 6-3, and Marco Trungelliti, who was a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Antoine Escoffier. Trungelliti will be hoping to replicate his runs in Paris from both 2016 and 2017, when he reached the second-round as a qualifier.