‘I feel empty,’ says Moutet after heartbreaking loss

Corentin Moutet went down 6-0, 6-7(7), 6-7(3), 6-2, 16-18 to Italian qualifier Lorenzo Guistino in a match that lasted more than six hours

Corentin Moutet

French player Corentin Moutet said he ‘felt empty’ after going down 6-0, 6-7(7), 6-7(3), 6-2, 16-18 to Italian qualifier Lorenzo Guistino in the opening round at French Open on Monday evening.

The match went on for six hours and five minutes, with the deciding set alone lasting three hours. It was the second longest match in Roland Garros history — 2004 first-round encounter between Spaniard Fabrice Santoro and Frenchman Arnaud Clement, which lasted six hours and 33 minutes, remains the longest ever.

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“My feelings, I don’t know. We played a really long match,” said Moutet, who served for the match at 14-13 and 15-14 in the decider. “I don’t feel anything in my body right now. I feel empty.”

But it was ecstasy for 29-year-old Guistino who finally scored his first-tour level win.

Rannked 156 in the world, Giustino has played 254 ATP Challenger Tour matches, winning one title at that level. This was only his fifth tour-level match.

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But the Italian looked unfazed by his inexperience at this level, breaking the Moutet serve twice to level in the match in the closing stages. He then bounced back from 15/40 when serving at 16-16 to script a memorable win.

“What’s funny is we were watching the match of (Jurij ) Rodionov against (Jeremy) Chardy and I said, ‘No, there is no tie-break in the fifth?'” Giustino recalled. “I said, ‘No, way, man.’ And so my coaches said, ‘You know that you will go like… 12-10 [or] something like that in the fifth.’ I always do like this in my matches and look what happened. It’s funny.”

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Meanwhile, fourth seed Daniil Medvedev and Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime made an early exit at the clay-court Slam.

Yoshihito Nishioka overcame Auger-Aliassime, the No. 19 seed, with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory while Hungarian Marton Fucsovics upset Medvedev 6-4, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-1 in three hours and 17 minutes for his first top-10 win.

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