Filip Misolic Qualifies for French Open Main Draw, Ready to Make His Mark

French Open

By successfully qualifying for the main draw of the French Open, Filip Misolic has reached a milestone in his career. “It’s a huge moment, the feeling is incredible. I still don’t believe that I’m in the main draw,” said the man from Graz, who will face Otto Virtanen in the first round.

27.05.2024 11.06

Online since today, 11.06 am

The Finn had defeated Dominic Thiem in the first qualifying round and made it into the main draw as a “lucky loser” after Australian world number 64 Christopher O’Connell withdrew. Virtanen is number 156 in the world and is therefore ranked significantly lower than O’Connell. A “good” draw, as Misolic recently described it, has turned into an even better one from the Austrian’s point of view. The two 22-year-olds had never played against each other before the meeting on Monday.

Misolic is ranked 243rd in the world rankings and spends a lot of time training in Croatia, mostly in Zagreb. “I would come to Austria more often if the training opportunities were better,” said the 2022 Kitzbühel finalist. Since then, the game of Austria’s number six, whose clear favorite surface is clay, has changed. “I’ve worked a lot on my forehand, it’s much better now, and I’m also doing more with my serve. I have both things well under control now,” said the 22-year-old. The backhand has remained the same as the showpiece.

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Misolic is in the main draw of a major for the first time

Coach change brings new energy

Velimir Zovko, who has recently taken over as coach of the son of Croatian parents, is also hoping for further improvements. Zovko is no stranger to the tour, and has also been Croatia’s Davis Cup captain since the beginning of the year. “In terms of playing, the change can’t be so much to do with it. But it has certainly given me new energy, which will definitely help me,” said the world number 241 about the new coach. He and his predecessor Ante Andric agreed to try something different after five and a half years.

“I feel good and want to carry on now. Let’s see how it goes.” Misolic hopes for more than one game in Paris. If he manages to advance against Virtanen, either Francisco Cerundolo (ARG/23) or Yannick Hanfmann (GER) would be waiting for him in the second round.

“There is a wind at your back”

But even if he had been knocked out, Roland Garros would have been “definitely a great thing.” “It’s a wind at my back, a great response to the work that has been done, an important moment for me.” This is also true from a financial point of view. There is already 73,000 euros for the first round, and the second-round loser gets 110,000 euros.

2024-05-27 09:07:54
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