Flashback: Trungelliti’s 2018 Family Trip To Roland Garros
Argentine made 10-hour car journey from Barcelona to Paris for lucky loser spot
Editor’s Note: But for the COVID-19 pandemic, Roland Garros would be now underway. During the next two week’s ATPTour.com will look back on memorable matches and happenings at the clay-court Grand Slam, which tournament organisers are hoping to stage later in the year.
Marco Trungelliti began his 2018 ATP Tour season with two goals. Alongside his ambition to enjoy a breakout year, the Argentine also wanted to reach the main draw at Roland Garros for the third straight season.
Trungelliti entered the tournament with confidence, having won eight consecutive matches from qualifying to claim his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Barletta in April. But the 5’10” right-hander fell just short of his goal, losing in three sets to Hubert Hurkacz in the final qualifying round.
“Even though I had come this close to one of my goals, I was still at peace with the outcome,” said Trungelliti. “I felt secure about my level of play and just happy with what I had accomplished so far [in 2018].”
Following his loss, Trungelliti eventually made it back to Barcelona on a delayed flight, where he had relocated a few months earlier with his wife Nadir. His mother, Susi, his grandmother, Lela, and his brother, Andre, were also waiting there. His family had made the trip from Argentina, with plans to see him play in Paris.
Plan B was soon created, with sightseeing, trips to the beach and barbecue food at the top of the agenda. But one conversation would soon throw those ideas out of the window. During a call with his coach on Sunday morning, the Argentine was told he could still make the main draw in Paris as a lucky loser.
“Grandma, change of plans, pack your bags, we’re going to Paris,” said Trungelliti.
With train strikes and the risk of further flight delays, Trungelliti made the decision to take the trip in his rented Seat Ibiza. With his mother and grandmother in the back seats, Trungelliti and his brother shared driving duties for the 10-hour trip to the French capital. All he had to do was sign in the following morning and he would book his place in the first round against Bernard Tomic at 11am on Court 9.
After arriving at his hotel around midnight, the 28-year-old managed just five hours of sleep before his encounter with the former Top 20 star. But that didn’t stop him from earning a memorable victory and a place in the second round for the third straight year.
With his 88-year-old grandmother sitting courtside for the first time, unable to keep score, Trungelliti moved past the Aussie in four sets.
“This isn’t the first Grand Slam match I’ve won, but what makes it so special is having my family around me to witness this marvellous moment… I don’t know if what I’ve accomplished is that big a deal; what’s important is that I’ve enjoyed every moment of what led up to this with my family by my side,” said Trungelliti.
Trungelliti’s journey was ended in the second round. The Argentine lost in straight sets to Marco Cecchinato, who went on to defeat Novak Djokovic to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.
From one Marco to another, both players will look back on their remarkable 2018 trips to Paris with fond memories.