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Bastl last survivor at French Open qualifying

Bastl is having to qualify the hard way for Roland Garros Keystone Archive

Swiss tennis player George Bastl is through to the second round of qualifying for the French Open, which starts in earnest next Monday. Bastl will be Switzerland's only representative in round two, though, following early exits for Lorenzo Manta and Ivo Heuberger.

The Swiss number four overcame Brazil’s Francisco Costa in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) during Tuesday’s first round qualifying match to set up a meeting with Frenchman Florent Serra in round two.

Bastl is hoping to reach the first round proper of the Grand Slam event for the second successive year. Twelve months ago, the Chicago-born player qualified automatically for the main draw only to lose in the first round to Russian superstar Marat Safin.

After slipping to 113th in the world, Bastl is now having to reach the main draw the hard way. If he can beat Serra, he will still face a final qualifying match with just 16 qualifiers from the 128-strong field going through to the prestigious Paris tournament.

Bastl’s Davis Cup colleague Lorenzo Manta was less successful on Tuesday, crashing out in the opening qualifying round to Italy’s Mose Navarra (0-6, 4-6). Ivo Heuberger, the third Swiss player in the men’s qualifying draw, also went out in straight sets, losing to Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan (6-7, 0-6).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR