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Monday, 28 May 2018 21:46 PM BST
Roland-Garros Day 2: Lucky Loser steals show on road to victory rounds up the action from Day 2 at Roland-Garros 2018. READ MORE

Tennis is a simple game. When you win, you stay and when you lose, you go home or travel to the next event.

But a new rule aimed at preventing players from withdrawing from the early rounds of a Grand Slam with an injury has given losers in the Roland-Garros qualifying tournament a second life.

Take world No.190 Marco Trungelliti, a Lucky Loser from Argentina whose 1,000 kilometer road trip from Barcelona to Paris with his family lit up social media and was eventually rewarded with a spot in the second round.

When Australian Nick Kyrgios withdrew on Sunday, and another player above him on the so-called Lucky Loser list had already entered another event, Trungelliti decided to go on an impromptu road trip back to Paris with his entire family, including his 88-year-old grandmother, in tow.

“My grandma was in the shower and I told her, Okay, we go to Paris,” Trungelliti told reporters at a packed main interview room at Roland-Garros.

“There are many flights canceled, so I didn't trust too much. And then there is no train now in France so the best option was always, was just take the car.”

Half an hour later, they were on their way

Having driven for ten hours with a few coffee breaks on Sunday, they arrived in Paris at 10 minutes to midnight, and on Monday, Trungelliti beat Australia’s Bernard Tomic, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

“I didn't feel pressure at all, nothing,” said Trungelliti, who has now earned at least 79,000 euros. “Because even I lost on Thursday here, so Friday I didn't play. Saturday I didn't practice. Sunday, nothing. So just today the warmup, and then we went to the court.”

After his victory, Trungelliti’s unsuspecting grandmother was ambushed by reporters.

“She has no idea what tennis is, really,” he said. “She has no idea how to count it. And actually, she told me that she didn't know that it was the end of the match until everybody was clapping. Yeah, she's amazing. She's turning 89 in one month.”

“He’s the people’s lucky loser,” Radio Roland-Garros said during his match.
His next opponent is Marco Cecchinato, an Italian who won his first career title in Budapest in April as, you guessed it, a Lucky Loser.

Djokovic, Wozniacki win

After the drama of Sunday, when defending champion Jelena Ostapenko was ousted in the first round, order was restored on Monday with former winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia cruising past Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Reigning Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the second seed, overcame American Danielle Collins, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.

Nadal, Sharapova rained off

Rafael Nadal’s bid to win an eleventh Roland-Garros title was interrupted by rain and held overnight at 7:44PM local time as the Spaniard led 6-4, 6-3, 0-3 against Italy’s Simone Bolelli.

Maria Sharapova’s first match at Roland-Garros in three years against Holland’s Richel Hogenkamp, scheduled as the final match on the Court Suzanne Lenglen, was canceled.

Quote of the day

“It’s just 12 matches, but it’s so far from Rafa, I will just keep trying.”

So said two-time Wimbledon singles champion Petra Kvitova after escaping in the first round against Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to extend her clay-court win streak to 12.

Kvitova, a semifinalist in Paris in 2012, entered Roland-Garros with clay-court wins in Prague and Madrid.

Over and out for Stan and Vika

Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, and former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka both lost in the first round, but they each had reasons to be optimistic.

“I'm on the right way,” said Wawrinka, who made his comeback after knee surgery earlier this month.

“I'm playing well,” said the 23rd-seeded Swiss, whose loss in Paris to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will see him fall out of the world's top 250. “The knee is keeping up and physically I start to be stronger every day. So I need to keep pushing myself to get where I want to be."

Playing in her first Roland-Garros since the birth of her son, Leo, at the end of 2016, former semifinalist Azarenka was defeated by Czech Katerina Siniakova, 7-5, 7-5.

“I know there are going to be ups and downs in my game and I have to work through them,” the two-time Grand Slam winner from Belarus said in a news conference, before adding she had “no doubt” she would return to the top of the women’s game.

Upset of the day

On the cover of the daily Roland-Garros newspaper on Monday morning, French title hope Kristina Mladenovic was out of the tournament by the end of the afternoon as she failed to take her chances against Andrea Petkovic.

Mladenovic, a quarter-finalist last year, blew six set points in the first set as she lost 7-6 (12-10), 6-2 to the 2014 semi-finalist from Germany.

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