'Mr. Five-Setter' Varillas Upsets Hurkacz To Extend Fairytale Paris Run
Juan Pablo Varillas continued his dream run Friday at Roland Garros, where he earned the highest-ranked win of his career after he upset 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2 in the third round.
The Peruvian, who had not won a Grand Slam main draw match heading into Paris, has survived three consecutive five-set thrillers to set a fourth-round clash against 22-time major champion Novak Djokovic. Incredibly, all five of Varillas’ career Grand Slam appearances have gone the distance.
It’s been a dramatic reversal of fortune for Varillas at Roland Garros, where last year he squandered a two-sets-to-love lead against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening round. This year, in his first two matches, Varillas battled back from two-sets-to-love down against Shang Juncheng and Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Lima native will look to add to his run by collecting his first Top 5 win against the third seed Djokovic. Varillas, who is at a career-high No. 60 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, is the first Peruvian to reach the Roland Garros fourth round since Jaime Yzaga in 1994.
The 27-year-old Varillas struck his groundstrokes with power and depth throughout the three-hour, 51-minute battle against Hurkacz. Varillas held the advantage in extended rallies and absorbed the Pole’s hefty delivery to advance. A five-time ATP Challenger Tour champion, Varillas has broken serve 19 times across three matches, including four breaks against the World No. 14 Hurkacz.