Following his heartwarming Grand Slam debut on Monday afternoon, Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis will challenge the in-form Latvian Ernests Gulbis for a spot in the third round of the French Open. This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour.
Latvian No. 1 Ernests Gulbis reached the second round in Paris with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 win over Poland’s Lukasz Kubot. He is now riding a five match winning streak, which includes a title win in Nice last week.
Facundo Bagnis, who was making his Grand Slam debut when he stepped out on court opposite France’s Julien Benneteau, was given a memorable moment on Court 1. The young Argentinian qualifier survived a four hour and 26 minute battle to ultimately prevail 6-1, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 18-16. The win was his first ever victory against a Top 50 player on the tour.
“Given the fact it was Roland Garros, of course it’s cruel,” said Benneteau, who came to Bagnis’s side of the net to embrace the winner. “But honestly, I want to congratulate him. He was huge. He served perfectly each time. He was present everywhere on the court. Sometimes it’s just hard.”
This marks the first tie these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour. While Bagnis may have made a fantastic Grand Slam debut, he will have a much stiffer challenge when facing the in-form Gulbis. He is a more powerful player and savvier on-court competitor than the Frenchman in the previous round, which will likely spell the end for Bagnis’ dream run in Paris.
Prediction: Ernests Gulbis in Four Sets