Krajinovic's Roland Garros Journey: From Missing Deadline To Facing Tsitsipas On Chatrier
NEWS SOURCE: ATP News
In a matter of weeks, Serbian Filip Krajinovic has gone from sleepless, worry-filled nights to the best opportunity of his season – a third-round matchup with Greece’s #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland Garros.
Weeks ago, however, Krajinovic was fretting that he’d miss his favourite Grand Slam. The 27-year-old forgot to sign up for the Roland Garros qualifying field.
That wouldn’t be a big deal, so long as the No. 60th-ranked player in the ATP Rankings automatically made the main draw.
But when the field was formed, six weeks before the start of Roland Garros, Krajinovic’s ATP Ranking was just outside of the main draw cut-off. He needed three people to withdraw.
South African Kevin Anderson pulled out, and, with three weeks to go until the start of Roland Garros, Krajinovic needed only two people to withdraw. “I thought for sure I’m going to get in,” he said.
Another player withdrew, but with 10 days to go, Krajinovic was close to losing hope. “I was like, ‘Please, please, somebody pull out’, and then nobody did,” he said.
At the last minute, however, Krajinovic got a break when Andrey Rublev pulled out, and the Serbian, who had made other tournament plans, was heading to Roland Garros.
He’s taken full advantage of his opportunity. Krajinovic upset 32nd seed Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in his opener and made the third round with another five-setter against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(1), 3-6, 8-6.
“I feel really good physically,” Krajinovic said. “I was working really hard. and I felt like I can play five sets, for sure, no problem.”
He’s never faced Tsitsipas, the sixth seed in Paris who’s seeking his first fourth round at Roland Garros. But Krajinovic will have nothing to lose – he didn’t even think he’d make the first round.
POSTED ON May 31, 2019