Twenty-year-old Hugo Gaston, the last French man standing, pulled off the upset of the tournament so far as he defeated former champion and 16th seed Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in the third round at Roland Garros.
Gaston is ranked 239 in the world and entered the 2020 French Open as a wildcard. He is the lowest ranked player Wawrinka has lost to in a Grand Slam tournament.
“I tried to play my game, but I didn’t know I could do it – until I won,” said 5’8″ Gaston, in an on-court interview. “Every time I go on court I try to concentrate and play my game. I am grateful of the support I had.”
Wawrinka struck 49 winners, but committed 74 unforced errors and is now 10-5 in the 2020 season.
2018 Youth Olympic champion Gaston had never won a tour-level match coming into the French Open. The talented lefty, however, has kept the French flag flying high with his incredible debut at the home Slam.
On Friday, he converted eight of his 21 break point opportunities to record the biggest victory of his career.
The Frenchman is the first player ranked outside the top 200 to reach the last 16 in the men’s singles at Roland-Garros since No.283 Arnaud di Pasquale achieved that feat in 2002.
“Gaston was absolutely relentless,” said Judy Murray on BBC radio after Gaston scripted victory in three hours and 10 minutes.
“For someone who hasn’t played at this level…. to play someone at Stan’s level, he was relentless. The guy never went away. He thoroughly deserved the win. It’s quite remarkable.”
In the Round of 16, Gaston will meet one of the pre-tournament favourites Dominic Thiem, who powered to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over No 28 seed Casper Ruud.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka’s two most recent defeats have come against the 239th-ranked Gaston and Lorenzo Musetti, the No. 249, in Rome. He received a bagel in each of those losses.