‘It’s difficult to explain. It’s fantastic,’ says Hugo Gaston after stunning Stan Wawrinka in Paris
Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem continued their smooth progress through the draw at Roland Garros but the day belonged to 20-year-old Frenchman Hugo Gaston.
The wild card, ranked 239th, began the tournament without a tour-level win but is through to the fourth round after a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 victory over former champion Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka had been tipped as a potential title challenger in the slow, heavy conditions but he was simply unable to hit through the brilliant defence of Gaston, who looked stunned by his own achievement.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 2, 2020
The £170,000 in prize money that the Frenchman has secured by reaching the fourth round is more than he has earned in the rest of his career put together.
Gaston said: “It’s difficult to explain. It’s fantastic. It was a great match. I’m very happy today. Before I was always watching this on TV. Today I can play on these courts, so it’s amazing for me.”
Gaston is the lowest-ranked man to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros for 18 years but not the only player outside the top 200.
Tennis family 🚨
🇺🇸 Sebastian Korda is into Round 4 at a major, matching the feat that his father Petr accomplished 10x. pic.twitter.com/1C0CFMOCpS
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) October 2, 2020
Sebastian Korda, also 20, is through too after a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory over fellow qualifier Pedro Martinez.
Korda is the son of former Grand Slam champion Petr Korda and his reward is a clash with his childhood idol Nadal.
“He’s one of the reasons I play tennis,” said Korda. “Just watching him play, unbelievable competitor. Just from him I have the never-give-up mentality. Whenever I’m on court, I try to be like him.
“Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy.”
When informed of the other Rafa, Nadal, who breezed past Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0, said with a smile: “That means that I have been on the TV for such a long time, that’s the main thing. Another negative thing that means is that I am 34.
“But I’m happy to hear that. I know he’s playing great. He’s a very young kid with a lot of power. I think he has an amazing future – hopefully not yet.”
Gaston will take on third seed Thiem, who rated his victory over Casper Ruud as one of his best performances of the season.
The US Open champion has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros and recovered from a slow start to beat in-form Norwegian Ruud 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Italy are a growing powerhouse in the men’s game and they have two men through to the fourth round – Lorenzo Sonego and exciting 19-year-old Jannik Sinner.
Andrey Rublev in contention for ATP Finals spot after win in St Petersburg
There are two singles spots remaining for the end-of-season showpiece.
Andrey Rublev waxes lyrical about Rafael Nadal as he explains why Spaniard is ‘best athlete in history’
Andrey Rublev a big fan of Rafael Nadal.
WATCH: ‘Coach’ Novak Djokovic gives tennis lesson to kids on the street while walking his dog
‘Coach’ Djokovic on hand to give tips to youngsters.
Roger Federer recovery ‘on right track’ as he confirms he is likely to make comeback at Australian Open
Roger Federer set for a return at 2020 Australian Open.
Alexander Zverev gets ‘tough’ US Open final out of his system, hails ‘unbelievable’ Felix Auger-Aliassime
ATP Tour title No 12 for Alexander Zverev.
Andy Murray gives update on latest injury setback as he vows to return to court ‘soon’
“It was not going to be good enough to play,” says Murray.
Andy Murray withdraws from ATP Cologne event because of injury
Murray struggling with pain in his psoas muscle.
Wimbledon set to go ahead in 2021 even if fans are not permitted
The All England Club is planning for three different scenarios for next year’s event.
Poland joins list of Open Era women’s Grand Slam singles winners. Has your country won a major?
Has your country won a women’s Grand Slam trophy?
‘Crunch time’ for 2021 Australian Open as officials negotiate quarantine plans for players
Australian Open could have AFL-style training bubble.