A new chapter has been added to Bernard Tomic’s year of woe as the former World No.17 was beaten 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 by a sleep-deprived lucky loser in the first round of the French Open on Monday night.
Marco Trungelliti’s preparation for his clash against Aussie Bernard Tomic has been far from ideal.
The 28-year-old Argentinian spent more than nine hours driving from Barcelona to Paris after a stunning set of circumstances left a berth in the men’s singles available for players who lost in qualifying and could get to the French capital.
He arrived around midnight on Sunday, local time, and has won $90,000 for his efforts in beating the 25-year-old Queenslander.
Trungelliti punished Tomic with 16 aces, 68 winners and five service breaks in advancing to the second round of the year’s second grand slam tournament.
Tomic was originally scheduled to play compatriot Nick Kyrgios in the first round at Roland Garros, a much-anticipated clash that did not eventuate after the latter withdrew citing a troublesome elbow injury.
Kyrgios was the eighth player to pull out of a first-round clash, with new rules encouraging players to withdraw if battling injury before taking to the court.
Players can receive no prize money if they retire during a first-round clash and do not “perform to the required professional standard”.
Those who reach the main draw but then pull out are entitled to half of the prize money they would have received for a round one defeat, which helps avoid embarrassing early match exits.
The spate of withdrawals saw seven ‘lucky losers’ in qualifying already given spots in the first round, but Kyrgios’ exit meant officials needed to find another.
The only problem was that no players who lost in qualifying remained in Paris, and Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran, next in line to step up, was unable to take his place because he had already entered another tournament in Italy and travelled there.
These circumstances led to Trungelliti’s mad dash across Europe, with the World No.190 leaving his training base in Barcelona in a car with his brother, mother and grandmother.
Photos of Trungelliti’s journey circulated on social media and there were even videos, too, which showed the family singing to pass the time.
Tomic has struggled to reach the heights of previous years and even appeared on the fourth series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here in January before withdrawing after three days.