Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a major scare as he fought back from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round of the French Open.
World No. 66 Musetti, who pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets in Paris last year, won seven games in a row to take control against Tsitsipas on Court Philippe Chatrier.
However, the fourth seed rallied in impressive fashion and came through 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2. He will next face Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar.
Too rusty, too tired? Alcaraz, Ruud fail to hit US Open heights in shock losses
Tsitsipas made the French Open final in 2021 and is fancied to go far again after landing on the opposite half of the draw to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev.
However, while the rest of the favourites breezed through their opening matches, Tsitsipas was given a stern test by Musetti, who eventually faded in similar fashion as he did against Djokovic a year ago when he retired in the fifth set as he said he "couldn't win a point".
There was no sign of the drama to come in the evening session as Tsitsipas surged into a 4-1 lead.
The fourth seed had two break points for 5-1 but Musetti held and then broke in the next game.
The quality of the match ramped up as Musetti fended off three break points to hold for 4-4.
As Musetti’s level improved, more errors started to come off Tsitsipas’ racquet and he was broken when he dragged a forehand wide.
Musetti served out the set in confident fashion and then reeled off three games in a row to further take command of the match.
Tsitsipas’ mood was not improved by a foot fault that led to a double fault and he looked to have no answers as Musetti extended his run to seven games in a row.
Last year’s runner-up rallied as he broke to love, but Musetti held his nerve and took his third set point to secure the set.

‘That could have been nasty!’ – Umpire nearly taken out by Musetti mishit

The momentum quickly shifted in the third set as Tsitsipas won six of the first seven points.
The fourth seed followed up with three love holds in a row and brought up set point with a brilliant lob.
Having secured the set it looked like Tsitsipas would kick on, especially after earning another break early in the fourth set, but Musetti broke back with a forehand winner that just landed on the line.
The break seemed to re-energise Musetti, who caught the line with a brilliant backhand winner to start the next game.
However, the Italian could not find the same consistent level he showed earlier in the match and it wasn’t long before Tsitsipas won the fourth set.
There only looked one winner from there, and Tsitsipas quickly raced into a 2-0 lead as the time in Paris passed midnight.
Musetti fought to stay in the contest but he couldn’t match Tsitsipas, who raised his arms aloft after clinching victory.
- - -
Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+
Six matches we want to see before end of 2022 tennis season
Highlights: Tsitsipas eases past Kukushkin to reach second round of Astana Open