Pablo Andujar recovered from two-sets-to-love down for the first time in his career on Sunday at Roland Garros for his first victory over a Top 5 star in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

The World No. 68 capitalised on lapses in concentration to upset 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem, the fourth seed from Austria, in a 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over four hours and 28 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Andujar, who beat Roger Federer at the Gonet Geneva Open two weeks ago, is now 6-23 lifetime against Top 10 opponents and will now prepare to meet Moldovan Radu Albot or Federico Delbonis of Argentina.

World No. 4 Thiem, who finished as runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the 2018 and 2019 finals, is now 9-8 on the season. It is his first opening-round loss at Roland Garros in eight appearances.

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Thiem started strongly, winning the first two games in a high-quality first set, which ended after 56 minutes when the Austrian hit his 17th winner, a forehand down the line.

After four breaks of serve in the second set, the World No. 4 seized the momentum with a 6-5 lead after Andujar hit a forehand into the net. Thiem first came within two points of the set when he served for it at 5-4, but Andujar clawed his way back.

Andujar, 35, won three games in a row to clinch the third set as Thiem’s confidence started to desert him and hopes of the Spaniard’s first comeback from two sets down developed. Andujar opened up a 4-1 advantage in the fourth set, which saw Thiem initially struggle with his serve and forehand.

Andujar broke serve at the start of the decider after a Thiem backhand error, but a trick shot from the Austrian in the next game – a shot played behind his back – triggered a brief response to his best tennis. Andujar won 10 of 11 points from 1-2, 30/40 to a 4-2 lead and completed his eighth win of 2021 with a confident hold to 15.

Elsewhere, Italian No. 27 seed Fabio Fognini struck 31 winners in a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over French wild card Gregoire Barrere in two hours and eight minutes. Fognini now plays Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who beat Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(5) over three hours and 13 minutes.

Source: Tennis – ATP World Tour