Croatia’s Marin Cilic was given a tougher workout than he expected before beating Brazil’s Ricardo Mello 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-1 in the French Open first round on Sunday.
The 21-year-old 10th seed was in little discomfort as he raced through the first set in 25 minutes in the searing heat of Suzanne Lenglen Court before Mello, who has never won a match at Roland Garros, hit back to take the second.
Cilic, who reached the fourth round last year and has cuttingly pacy groundstrokes from the back of the court, finally ground down the 29-year-old. Mello lashed a forehand wide to hand the Croatian the match after two hours and 26 minutes.
Cilic will face Russian Dmitry Tursunov or Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver for a place in round three.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email@example.com)