Tennis: 'Road-trip Marco' finally runs out of steam in Paris after second-round thrashing

Marco Trungelliti hits a shot against Marco Cecchinato during their men’s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament, on May 30, 2018.
Marco Trungelliti hits a shot against Marco Cecchinato during their men’s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament, on May 30, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (REUTERS) - Marco Trungelliti's Roland Garros adventure came to an end on Wednesday (May 30), when the Argentinian who made an 11th-hour, 1,000km hire-car dash with his 88-year-old granny to reach the tournament on time, finally ran out of gas.

Trungelliti, who drove from Barcelona with his grandmother, mother and younger brother to sign in as a lucky loser to claim a place in the French Open main draw, was beaten 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 by Italian Marco Cecchinato.

It was a low-key exit for the man who had been the talk of the tournament, but having beaten Australia's Bernie Tomic in his opener, his exploits over the last few days have earned him €99,000 (S$154,000).

A rule change introduced to prevent injured players from starting matches and then withdrawing mid-contest is what made the Trungelliti tale possible.

The long-haired 28-year-old journeyman had lost his final-round qualifying match on Friday.

But when Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the main draw on Sunday and the next standby player, India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran, was unable to take part because he was already entered in the draw for a low-key event in Vicenza, he was on the clock.