WATCH: World No 675 leads emotional rendition of La Marseillaise at Roland Garros
Lucas Pouille became the lowest-ranked player in 10 years to win a first-round match at Roland Garros on Sunday and it sparked wild celebrations in the evening encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The Frenchman, who had slipped to No 675 in the ATP Rankings, came through qualifying to play in the main draw of his home Grand Slam and he certainly made the most of his opportunity.
Pouille defeated lucky loser Jurij Rodionov – the same player he beat in the final round of qualifying – 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 59 minutes to book his place in the second round for the first time since the 2019 edition.
It was also the first time since the 2019 US Open that he had won a Grand Slam match and in the process he also became the lowest-ranked player since Pablo Cuevas in 2013 to reach the round of 64 as the Uruguayan was ranked No 762 in the world when he defeated Adrian Mannarino.
The 29-year-old’s victory led to major celebrations on Chatrier as the crowd burst into a rendition of La Marseillaise with Pouille very much leading the way.
Lucas Pouille teve diversos problemas na carreira, passou por dificuldades inimagináveis que só ele poderia descrever.
Furou o Quali e entrou na chave principal. Hoje venceu o Rodionov por 3 Sets a zero.
E por fim comandou o coral na quadra 14!
ISSO É TÊNIS!🎾😍 pic.twitter.com/UOGdWvJB61
— Juan Andrade (@J27andrade) May 28, 2023
Pouille is a five-time ATP Tour singles title winner and a former world No 10, but he has struggled over the past year and his match against Rodionov was his first at the top level since last year.
“It was special. It was the first time for me that I was playing against the same opponent in three days in the same tournament,” Pouille said after the win.
“I was quite stressed when I saw the draw, but then I realised also that it was a good draw. Good first round in Roland Garros when you see [Carlos] Alcaraz playing a qualifier or [Daniil] Medvedev or some other player.
“I said, ‘Okay, you beat him in the qualies, so he is afraid of you, and just take this advantage for you and just give 100 percent, and you’ll see.'”
Up next for the Frenchman – who will surge up at least 279 places in after his win – is either 14th seed Cameron Norrie or wildcard Benoit Paire.
WATCH: Intense Felix Auger-Aliassime brushes off Laver Cup spat with Gael Monfils
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils shared some heated moments after the Canadian complained to the umpire during their Laver Cup clash.
More questions for Andy Murray to answer after another agonising defeat
Andy Murray blew an early lead as he crashed to defeat against Aslan Karatsev in the last 16.
Roger Federer reveals what he misses about tennis as Rafael Nadal surprises him
Speaking in an interview with former world No 1 Jim Courier at the Laver Cup, the 20-time Grand Slam champion reflected on how his life chan
Top coach spotted Coco Gauff’s potential very early on
Patrick Mouratoglou has revealed that Coco Gauff left a big impression on him during their first meeting.
British star set for rankings breakthrough after a decade on the ATP Tour
Liam Broady set to break into the top 100 of the ATP rankings for the first time.
Guadalajara proves a balm for Maria Sakkari’s suffering once again
Maria Sakkari feels that the bond between herself and Guadalajara has grown closer after another deep run in the Mexican city.
Novak Djokovic hits raw nerve with tennis chiefs after latest controversial comments
Djokovic has made some radical proposals that would ensure the huge amounts of cash being generated by gambling goes to tennis players.
Ben Shelton salutes the three players who have taken him under their wing
Ben Shelton has paid homage to the brotherhood of the top American men in the game.
Can Cameron Norrie still reach the ATP Tour finals powered by strong Asian swing?
Cameron Norrie is out to reach the ATP Tour finals this term.