The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Roland-Garros: who are Varillas and Ofner, the surprise guests of the knockout stages


Highlights: Juan Pablo Varillas faces Novak Djokovic in the 8th final of the French Open. Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the other final. Neither had gone beyond the first round at Roland-Garros before this edition. Ofner is the last player from the qualifiers still in the tournament, excluding girls.. "The key to success may be a little too high," says philosopher Marek Mertens, a native of Sankt Mönchengladbach.

Among the 16 players who play from June 4 the 8th finals of the tournament, there are two surprise guests. An Austrian who is

We know neither. After a long career for each of about ten years, neither had gone beyond the first round at Roland-Garros before this edition. They have not shone more in other Grand Slam tournaments. Yet here they are in the 8th final on clay. Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas is pitted against Novak Djokovic and Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner against Stefanos Tsitsipas. You have to take advantage of their presence. Barring a huge surprise, they won't be there anymore Sunday night.

Varillas learned to play in summer camp

In 2022, Juan Pablo Varillas had already played on a Sunday on Centre Court. It was against Canada's Félix Auger-Aliassime. The world No. 6 won 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. The Peruvian, who had failed to get out of qualifying in 2020 and 2021, had not gone the distance. It was opening Sunday, so Varillas had only done a little lap. Thank you and goodbye.

A year later, here he is back on Court Philippe-Chatrier on a Sunday too but this time in the 8th final of the tournament, it's not the same story. On June 4, the 26-year-old Peruvian who has just entered the Top 100 in the world (94th) faces Novak Djokovic. Barring an earthquake, her adventure will still stop on the Lord's day but she is beautiful. To get there, he played three first matches in 5 sets. He has already spent more than 12 hours on court and defeated in the third round the Polish Hubert Hurkacz, seeded number 3 (13-3, 6-6, 3-7, 6-4, 6-6).

"There are not many professional tennis players in Peru," says the South American. Becoming a pro at home is not easy. My journey here is therefore a great example to show children that we can do this type of thing, that we can play this type of game if we work, if we are disciplined. It is possible to achieve this and it is very motivating for children who can tell themselves that, like me, they can achieve their dream. »

Released in the first round of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Juan Pablo Varillas is the 5th Peruvian player in history to play in the Top 100th in the world. Pro for ten years, he has long plateaued between 150th and 200th place in the ATP, this soft underbelly of tennis in which it is difficult to live from his sport. "I started playing tennis when my parents sent me to summer camp; tells the story of Djokovic's next prey. We had the opportunity to play all sports. There was tennis and football that I liked. So I continued to play these two sports until I was 15-16 years old. Then I was better at tennis, so I kept working on tennis and here I am in Paris in the 8th final. »

Ofner, the last survivor of the qualifications

On May 22, 128 players tried to extricate themselves from the qualifying rounds of the "French Open" as the Anglo-Saxons say. Two weeks later, only one remains. That means they've won their first six games, the equivalent of a run to the semifinals when you get straight into the big draw. He is Austrian and his name is Sebastian Ofner. In the 8th final this Sunday, on the court Suzanne-Lenglen on the stroke of 17 hours, the 118th player in the world is expected against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, seed number 5.

To get there, Ofner put out two nice performances by beating Americans Maxime Cressy (No. 44) and Sebastian Korda (No. 30) before Italy Fabio Fognini in 5 sets (5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4).

Sebastian Ofner is the last player - excluding girls - from the qualifiers still prey in the tournament; AFP/Thomas Samson AFP or licensors

With Tsitsipas, the march this time may be a little too high: "The key to success, philosopher the native of Sankt Marein im Mürztal 27 years ago, is to fight on all balls, on every point. That's what I'm doing. »

Tennis is ultimately a fairly simple sport. Coached by Wolfgang Thiem, Dominic's father, Sebastian Ofner nevertheless has a chance to get by. His opponent is not Alexander Zverev. Before this Roland version 2023, the Austrian had made two appearances in the draw of a Grand Slam tournament: at Wimbledon in 2017 and Porte d'Auteuil in 2022. Twice, he did not make it past the first round. Both times, his opponent was Zverev whom he will not be able to find this year before... a possible final.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-06-04

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.