Andujar dumps out Thiem in enormous shock at Roland Garros

31
Andujar dumps out Thiem in enormous shock at Roland Garros

Veteran Pablo Andujar produced the performance of his career as he dumped out US Open champion and two-time former French Open finalist Dominic Thiem in the first round.

The 35-year-old from Cuenca has not previously progressed past the third round at Roland Garros – and even that was way back in 2015.

But he somehow produced an enormous shock as he outfought Thiem in quite remarkable fashion. Even more incredibly, he was two sets down when he launched a magnificent comeback against the odds.

Thiem, who reached the final in Paris in 2018 and 2019, had never lost in the opening round at Roland Garros, but he was horribly off colour after taking the opening two sets and let the Spaniard seize control.

The 35-year-old, ranked 68th in the world, held serve under huge pressure at the tail end of a tense final set to claim victory after nearly four and a half hours.

Andujar claimed a surprise win against 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in Geneva earlier this month but was not expected to give Thiem much trouble in Paris.

“I was not struggling at all with my motivation but the game was just not there today,” Thiem said after his stunning defeat.

“Like all the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I’m moving not well enough, so everything in my game there are some percents missing.”

Andujar, on the other hand, was delighted: “I believed in myself because I played well [against Federer] two weeks ago. Usually being drawn against Thiem is a bad draw,” the Spaniard said.

“Winning today against a player like him is like a gift, even if he has not been at his best recently, because I’m 35 and I don’t know how long I’m going to be playing for.

“Beating Roger was an even bigger gift. I feel like Father Christmas came to my home.”

That could not have been more wrong as the 27-year-old Austrian continued his miserable form this season after winning his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows last year.