Gael Monfils emerged from the tennis wilderness after a disaster start to the season, with the popular Frenchman earning an emotional 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4 trip into the Roland Garros second round.
The Tuesday triumph in three hours for the 34-year-old who had lost 10 of his previous 11 matches came in front of a COVID-restricted crowd of 1,000 enthusiastic fans.
No. 15 Monfils pounded his heart in joy and waved to fans after defeating Albert Ramon-Vinolas as the Spaniare sailed a return over the baseline.
The win was only the second of 2021 for Monfils against 18 for his opponent – 17 of them coming on clay.
Ramos-Vinolas co-leads the ATP for season wins alongside Federico Delbonis and Stefanos Tsitsipas.