The 35-year-old Pablo Andujar entered the season with four top-10 wins on his tally. The experienced Spaniard needed a couple of weeks to add two more, beating Roger Federer in Geneva and stunning Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros first round!
For the first time in a career, Pablo overcame two sets to love deficit at Major to beat the struggling Austrian 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in four hours and 28 minutes for the 150th ATP victory and 19th at Majors. Thiem hasn't played well this year, struggling to find the motivation and competed without confidence against a formidable opponent to hit the exit door after two finals and a quarter-final in recent years in Paris.
The Spaniard claimed four points more than the Austrian, playing better on the second serve and securing seven breaks from 17 opportunities. On the other hand, Thiem seized six return games from 19 chances, prevailing in the opening two sets before losing ground in the rest of the clash.
Pablo Andujar came from two sets to love down to topple Dominic Thiem in Paris.
Dominic built the advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes, and Pablo erased that deficit in the more extended rallies to perform a marvelous comeback and make a winning start.
Thiem landed a backhand down the line winner in the opening game for an early break, with five more chances at 3-1 that could have sent him further in front. Both players served well in the rest of the set, and Dominic closed it with a forehand down the line winner at 5-4 after 56 minutes.
The second set saw back-to-back breaks in games three and four, and another one at love for Thiem at 3-3 that sent him ahead. Andujar pulled the break back at 4-5 to lock the result before experiencing another setback at 5-5 and falling two sets to love down when Thiem placed a forehand winner in game 12.
With no room for errors, the Spaniard grabbed a break at love in game eight and saved a break chance in the next one for 6-3 and momentum. Andujar built a 4-1 advantage in set number four and fended off a break chance with an ace at 5-4 to clinch the set and force a decider.
They traded early breaks at the beginning of the fifth set, and Pablo secured another with a return winner at 2-2, which proved to be a crucial moment of the encounter. The Spaniard never looked back and produced three commanding holds to seal the deal and celebrate the career-best victory in terms of ranking.