Hugo Gaston
Hugo Gaston
AFP

Paris

Not many would have given the last Frenchman standing heading into Friday, Hugo Gaston, much of a chance to keep on going.

The 20-year-old left-hander is in the early stages of his career, is ranked 239th and had never even faced a top-50 player before.

Yet, somehow, the wild card stunned 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka with a wildly good performance, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, in a rain-interrupted contest on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Along with American qualifier Sebastian Korda, they became the first men’s players ranked outside the top 200 to reach the fourth round at Roland-Garros since Arnaud di Pasquale in 2002.

“For me to play in Paris, it's fantastic,” said Gaston.

“I try to take the pleasure every minute, every time, and today I won. For the moment it’s a dream.

"Now I play the French Open. Before I always watching this in TV. Today I can play in these courts, so it's amazing for me."

The ride continues Sunday for the diminutive shot-maker against another Grand Slam winner, Dominic Thiem.

The Italian men’s charge continues and in Lorenzo Sonego’s case, not in any old fashion.

He and Taylor Fritz played the joint longest singles tiebreak in Roland-Garros history, with Sonego winning it 19-17 in the third set to seal a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (17) victory.

The 36 points matched Johanna Konta and Denisa Allertova’s first-round marathon tiebreak in 2015, edged by Allertova.

Sonego saved six set points in the tiebreak and converted on his seventh match point, finishing with a sublime drop shot before an almighty roar of exultation.

When we last saw Kiki Bertens on court, she was being escorted off court in a wheelchair after beating Sara Errani in a three-hour, 11-minute slugfest. There were cramps to her left leg, right foot and both hands.

Bertens not only played Friday but overcame Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-2 in 58 minutes.

“I’m really happy that today, it was much shorter than the other one,” the fifth seed said. “I’m still recovering a bit but I think today was a great level.”

Swiatek defeated a resurgent Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2 Friday and has surrendered a mere 13 games in three matches.

Elina Svitolina is back into the fourth round at Roland-Garros for the first time since 2017, when the Ukrainian made the quarter-finals and held a match point on Halep.

And after being broken a combined 11 times in her first two rounds, the third seed held firm to beat one of the game’s most aggressive returners, Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-4, 7-5. She was broken just once.

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