A lucky "loser": The curious story of Marco Trungelliti before competing in Roland Garros

The Argentine arrived at the French Open thanks to luck

A lucky

On May 30, the Argentine tennis player Marco Trungelliti said goodbye to Roland Garros 2018. The 28-year-old Latin American athlete lost in the second round of the Parisian tournament, against the Italian Marco Cecchinato, with results of 6-1, 7-6 and 6-1. However, Trungelliti was not in the news in recent days for his participation in the also known French Open, but for the way he came to this.

Leer en español: Un "perdedor" con suerte: La curiosa historia de Marco Trungelliti antes de llegar al Roland Garros

He 'got off the plane'

On May 24, Marco said goodbye to Parisian clay after losing in the pre-qualifying competition. Without pain or glory, the tennis player took his suitcase and went quickly to his home in Barcelona, ​​where he only thought about resting. Days later, already in Spain, Trungelliti was willing to forget the elimination with a relaxing moment on the beach, according to the newspaper El Clarín. However, he received an unexpected call.

The Australian Nick Kyrgios had been injured a day before starting the first round of the tournament that is part of the World Tennis Grand Slam. Consequently, Trungelliti had to leave quickly for Paris if he wanted to take the place of Kyrgios. Between Barcelona and Paris, there is a distance of at least 1000 km. The most obvious thing in this case was to take a plane. The trip would have been quick and in comforts that a car cannot offer.

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However, Trungelliti opted to make the trip by car. "My grandmother was in the shower and I said, Ok, we're going to Paris. There are many flights canceled," said the athlete at a press conference for L 'Equipe. According to the BBC, the Argentinian readied his bags in less than half an hour, knowing that time was his greatest enemy. His grandmother, his mother, and his brother did the same.

They went quickly to the streets of Barcelona and started the march in a car that the family had rented to visit the Spanish city during the holidays. "My brother was the one who drove most of the 10 hours. He drove about six hours," Marco told the prestigious British radio.

Finally, with only four hours to rest, Trungelliti and his family arrived in Paris a little after midnight. In the first round, the tennis player defeated the Australian Bernard Tomic with results of 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 and 6-4, although the dream was over in the second round of the tournament.

"Lucky losers"

This time, luck had smiled on the Latin American sportsman to have been on the list of 'lucky losers' (lucky losers in Spanish): a reserve group that remains of the pre-qualifiers, in case some tennis player in the box the principal suffered some injury. In other sports, there are also "lucky losers"

However, this competition system is not exclusive to tennis and in other sports, such as football, it can also be presented. An example of this is the history of the selection of Denmark in 1992. In that year, the Eurocopa of soccer in Sweden would be celebrated.

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Although the eight teams that had qualified until the group stage were ready to participate, weeks before the start of the tournament, the Yugoslav team was banned from the competition, due to a blockade established by the UN against the now extinct nation.

The decision was made because of the Balkan War that Yugoslavia was living at that time, and that ended with the dissolution of the old country. "Yugoslavia will be excluded from international competitions for as long as the blockade decreed by the United Nations continues," declared the then FIFA general secretary, according to information cited by El País on May 31, 1992.

Consequently, Denmark having obtained second place in the qualifying group that won Yugoslavia, was the national team that replaced it in the European Championship. The Danes qualified to the semifinals of the tournament by obtaining three points out of nine possible. In this instance, it faced Holland. In a close match, Denmark made it to the final by defeating the Dutch 5-4 on penalties.

In the final, the Danish team faced powerful Germany at the Ullevi stadium. With a score of two goals to zero, Denmark gave the surprise and won the trophy.

Latin American Post | Christopher Ramírez
Translated from “Un "perdedor" con suerte: La curiosa historia de Marco Trungelliti antes de llegar al Roland Garros”

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