A lot of questions were asked as to whether Roland Garros should take place this year. With the daily increase of Covid-19 cases in France doubts grew as the tournament edged closer. Unlike the US Open the French Open offered something to players they haven’t had in a while and that is the opportunity to play.
For players ranked outside the top 120 in the world and rely on qualifying and multiple events being able to play Roland Garros qualifying is magnificent as many wouldn’t have earned a living from tennis for some time.
One player who finds himself in the first round of a Grand Slam for the first time is 28 year old Emilio Gomez from Ecuador who has never been ranked inside the top 140.
Almost 6000 miles away, Gomez lives in a small port City on the west of South America called Guayaquil.
Emilio was an unexpected entrant through qualifying but it is one of those stories which is what majors and qualifying is built around. He was up against top seed Thiago Seyboth-Wild in round one but dispatched the Brazilian and never looked back!
Before qualifying for Roland Garros this year the Ecudorian had seven chances at this going all the way back to 2014 and had a gap of qualifying for the qualifying draws for a number of years dropping outside the top 500 in 2017 and is now around 150 in the world.
What an incredible reward for his determination to be in Roland Garros which his family have history in.
In 1990 the top three seeds at Roland Garros were Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Andre Agassi. The top two went out in round one and it was down to the Agassi and the fourth seed from Ecuador Andres Gomez to battle it out in the final.
30 years ago, Emilio’s Dad Andres Gomez became the first Ecuadorian tennis player to win a Grand Slam title winning 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-4 against Andre Agassi who was 20 at the time and playing in his first Grand Slam final.
Emilio will be in action on Sunday against Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the first round 30 years on from his Dad’s triumph.