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5 Hours, 5 MPs Saved & A Moment To Remember For Andrea Vavassori

More than five hours. Five match points saved. Years of hard work. On Tuesday afternoon at Roland Garros, 28-year-old Andrea Vavassori earned his moment in the sun.

The Italian qualifier rallied from two sets down to stun 31st seed Miomir Kecmanovic 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(3), 7-6(11-9) for a place in the second round in Paris. It is his first main draw win at a major.

Entering the match, Vavassori had won just two tour-level singles tie-breaks in his career. But he claimed three in a row to advance on the terre battue.

In the second round, the No. 148 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will face an opponent ranked lower than him in No. 231 Genaro Alberto Olivieri, who had never played a tour-level match before Tuesday, when he ousted #NextGenATP Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.


Vavassori was down a service break twice in the third set, seemingly en route to a straight-sets defeat. He then faced four match points in the third-set tie-break, but wiggled out of trouble.

Kecmanovic, who reached the third round at Roland Garros last year, led 5-3 in the deciding set and served for the match at 5-4, a game in which he earned another match point.

But Vavassori, who did not crack the world’s Top 200 until August of last year aged 27, never gave up. An accomplished doubles player who is at a career-high No. 44 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings, he approached the net 80 times, winning 64 per cent of those points, and hit 106 winners. Vavassori showed the same courage he did last month to upset former World No. 1 Andy Murray in Madrid.

Fittingly, the Italian clinched his victory by putting away a volley before falling to the court in celebration. The 28-year-old told ATPTour.com last week that his best quality is being a hard worker, and nine years after turning pro in 2014, his effort is paying off.

Did You Know?
Vavassori, who has been coached by his father, Davide Vavassori, throughout his life, was inspired by Patrick Rafter and Pete Sampras. The Italian is also a big basketball fan, especially of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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