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German tennis player Struff outlasts Russia’s Rublev in 2021 Roland Garros opener

Germany’s 31-year-old Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Rublev in five sets with the final score of 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Andrey Rublev failed to clear on Tuesday the opening round of the 2021 French Open tennis tournament, which runs in Paris between May 30 and June 13.

In a match that lasted 3 hours and 46 minutes, Germany’s 31-year-old Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Rublev in five sets with the final score of 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4.

"It was definitely a very, very tough match," the official ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) website quoted Struff as saying after the match against Rublev. "I played Andrey twice this year [at the ATP Cup and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome], lost twice in three sets, played twice a very good first set, but I couldn't get the job done."

"Today I managed to beat him. [It] was very, very close. He fought back... [and] I'm very happy I won 6-4 in the fifth [set]. It's a huge win for me [at] a Grand Slam against a Top 10 player," Struff added.

Rublev is rated as World No. 7 in the ATP Rankings List and he is the winner of eight ATP tournaments. The Russian player also reached four times the quarterfinals stage of Grand Slam tournaments, namely at the 2017 and 2020 US Open, 2020 French Open and 2021 Australian Open.

Commenting on his match against Struff today, Rublev said: "Of course I was thinking that I would like to come back from 0-2 [sets down]. In the fifth set, I was a bit unlucky."

2021 French Open

The French Open tennis tournament first took place in 1891. Since 1928, it has been held at a stadium named after the French pilot Roland Garros, who died in a battle a month before the end of the First World War and a day before his 30th birthday.

The current Grand Slam tournament in Paris is an anniversary one as it is organized for the 125th time this year. The tournament's organizers keep on lowering the prize money. Two years ago, the tournament offered 42.66 million euros ($52.2 million) in prize money, last year - 38 million euros ($46.5 million) and this year - 34.4 million euros ($42 million).

Due to the complicated epidemiological situation in Paris, the daily number of spectators at the tournament was limited to 35% of the total capacity. However, organizers say that a number of spectators at the courts in Paris may be increased as the tournament progresses.