Teymuraz Gabashvili stormed out of the gates to take a two-set lead on opponent Benoit Paire. The lower seed would eventually hold on to send best Paire, who had the home crowd behind him at the 2016 French Open. The Frenchman would battle back in the third set, but that and what appeared to be a thigh injury wasn't enough as Gabashvili would claim victory 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
Gabashvili lifted by a strong start
Both men began the match with an ugly affair. A litany of unforced errors led to a messy affair in the first several games. However, each man would hold serve through the first five games.
Eventually, Russian-born Gabashvili would break Paire in the sixth set. The lower seed would smash a winner off his backhand to send the game to deuce. It was there that 19th-seeded Paire simply couldn't overcome the numerous errors he committed. The home favorite allowed himself to be broken when a backhand error that caused visible frustration to both Paire and the raucous French crowd. Gabashvili would close out the set, winning and impressive 92 percent of his first serve.
He would keep his good fortune coming as Paire grew further and further frustrated by the unfolding events of the match.
Paire's struggles put him in a deep hole
Gabashvili would hit twelve winners in the second set, taking advantage of sloppy play his opponent. Paire for his part would commit eight more errors and post a dismal winning percentage on his second serve. One particular moment emblematic of the day came after the Russian surprised the Frenchman with a volley to set up a break point. In that break opportunity, Paire would commit yet another error, this time, off his forehand. The mistake led to another set victory for the 31-year old Gabashvili.
Paire's best moments of the match came in the third set. His horizons brightened as he was able to stave off four break opportunities for the upset-minded Gabashvili. The home competitor, for his part, would convert on both break chances he was given, including claiming a break with an impressive backhand winner that spun in the red clay of Roland Garros.
A combination of technique proved a strength in the third set. Paire would close the set out with a forehand winner.
When it rains it pours
Though the red clay stayed dry throughout the day, it must have surely seemed like a damp and dreary day for the hometown hero Paire. Paire destroyed his racket earlier in the match sending murmurs among the spectators. He also seemed to be bothered by a thigh injury, which he consistently favored throughout the match. In the player's box, girlfriend and French singer Shy'm looked on in worry.
Gabashvili made quick work of his opponent in the third set. He won 80 percent of his first serve as he bounced another player, once buoyed by an enthusiastic home crowd, out of Roland Garros.
Gabashvili was then able to belt a roar of satisfaction as he had willed himself (with a little help from the mistake-prone Paire) into the third round of the French Open. He now awaits another higher-seeded player- American John Isner.