Altmaier saved two match chances before holding his nerve on his own fifth set point to defeat Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner 6-7 (0/7), 7-6 (9/7), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 after five hours and 26 minutes of frenetic play on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
On Thursday, Germany’s Daniel Altmaier won the fifth-longest French Open match in history, while 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva advanced to the last 32, delivering a tantalising insight into the sport’s future. Altmaier kept his composure on a fifth match point to defeat Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner 6-7 (0/7), 7-6 (9/7), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 after five hours and 26 minutes of frenetic play on Court Suzanne Lenglen. “I just love the game of tennis,” said Altmaier, who finished the marathon in tears despite being ranked 79 in the world.
“I’m not sure if it can be called a historical match, but it was memorable.” Playing every point with your best effort is what keeps you grounded.”
Fabrice Santoro’s match against fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement in 2004 was the longest ever played at Roland Garros, lasting six hours and 33 minutes.
When Sinner was serving for win in the fourth set, Altmaier, 24, faced loss twice.
He came back to equalise the tie and broke in game seven of the final, but then failed to serve it out.
He promptly gave himself another chance, and this time he eked out a win on his fifth match point following a dramatic final game in which he also saved three break opportunities.
Next up is a match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria for a spot in the last 16.
“That’s sport,” Sinner remarked. “I’ll return, but it’ll be difficult.”
With a 6-1, 6-2 victory against France’s Diane Parry, Andreeva became the seventh player under the age of 17 to reach the third round in Paris in 30 years, following the likes of Serena Williams and Martina Hingis.
- ‘Who does it better’ – Andreeva, ranked 143 and making her Grand Slam debut after qualifying, will face Coco Gauff in the following round.
Gauff, who finished second to Iga Swiatek last year, defeated Austria’s Julia Grabher 6-2, 6-3.
“She’s a seasoned player.” I am confident that it will be a fantastic contest. She will do her best, and I will do my best. “We’ll see who does it better,” said Andreeva, who is the youngest player in the third round since a 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva reached the quarter-finals in 2005.
Swiatek advanced to the third round of the French Open, becoming the first woman to do it in 16 years, with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over American Claire Liu.
Swiatek, who turned 22 on Wednesday, will play China’s Wang Xinyu for a spot in the second week on Saturday.
If she fails to win a fourth Grand Slam singles championship next week, the Polish star might lose her world number one status for the first time in almost a year.
When Justine Henin won her third Roland Garros championship in a row and fourth overall in 2007, she became the last woman to do so.
Alexander Zverev of Germany made a victorious comeback to Court Philippe Chatrier one year after sustaining a season-ending ankle ligament damage in the semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
Zverev, who was wheeled off the court in the 2022 match, ended the suffering with a commanding 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Alex Molcan.
Elena Rybakina, world number four and Wimbledon winner, won her 30th match of the year, defeating Czech youngster Linda Noskova 6-3, 6-3.
Rybakina, the fourth seed from Kazakhstan, converted three of her ten break points and blazed 30 winners past Noskova, who is only 18 years old.
Casper Ruud, last year’s men’s runner-up, advanced to the third round with a four-set victory over tough Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri.
– Zhang landmark –
The fourth seed from Norway was pushed hard by his 129th-ranked opponent but won 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
Ruud will next face Zhang Zhizhen, who defeated Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-4 to become the first Chinese man to reach the final 32 since 1937.
After world number two Daniil Medvedev was knocked out in the first round by Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild, the bottom half of the men’s draw had already opened up.
172nd in the world Seyboth Wild followed it up with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Argentina’s Guido Pella.