‘Mr. Five-Setter’ Varillas Upsets Hurkacz To Extend Fairytale Paris Run
Juan Pablo Varillas continued his dream run Friday at Roland Garros, where he earned the highest-ranked win of his career after he upset 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2 in the third round.
The Peruvian, who had not won a Grand Slam main draw match heading into Paris, has survived three consecutive five-set thrillers to set a fourth-round clash against 22-time major champion Novak Djokovic. Incredibly, all five of Varillas’ career Grand Slam appearances have gone the distance.
It’s been a dramatic reversal of fortune for Varillas at Roland Garros, where last year he squandered a two-sets-to-love lead against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening round. This year, in his first two matches, Varillas battled back from two-sets-to-love down against Shang Juncheng and Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Lima native will look to add to his run by collecting his first Top 5 win against the third seed Djokovic. Varillas, who is at a career-high No. 60 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, is the first Peruvian to reach the Roland Garros fourth round since Jaime Yzaga in 1994.
The 27-year-old Varillas struck his groundstrokes with power and depth throughout the three-hour, 51-minute battle against Hurkacz. Varillas held the advantage in extended rallies and absorbed the Pole’s hefty delivery to advance. A five-time ATP Challenger Tour champion, Varillas has broken serve 19 times across three matches, including four breaks against the World No. 14 Hurkacz.
Earlier this year, Varillas pushed Alexander Zverev to five sets in the first round of the Australian Open, where the Peruvian was making his Melbourne debut as a lucky loser.