At the end of a very long match and finished at the end of the evening, the Frenchman Constant Lestienne crossed the first round of the ATP 250 tournament in San Diego, California on Monday, by defeating the American wild card Brandon Holt, the son of the former world No. 1 Tracy Austin (5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in 2h42).
Lestienne led 4-2 in each set, against this 24-year-old opponent who is playing better than his ranking indicates. Holt is 215th at the ATP, but that’s because he first finished his studies before entering pro tennis. He also beat Taylor Fritz in the first round of the last US Open. And could very well have eliminated Lestienne. Passed two points from losing, 5 points everywhere in the tie-break of the second set, the Parisian then quickly widened the gap in the last round.
Three titles and two finals in Challenger this year
At thirty, for the first time in his career, Lestienne was admitted directly to a tournament on the main circuit, without having to go through the qualifications, thanks to the best ranking of his life, which he currently occupies (76th this week , one rank behind its record, which dates from August 22). This is the fruit of his excellent results in the events of the second professional division, the Challengers, where in 2022 he has three titles, two finals and three halves!
This is his seventh appearance at this level (the first six times he was either qualified or lucky loser) and it is only his second victory on the main circuit (after that against the Estonian Zopp, in Metz, in 2018). In the next round, Constant Lestienne will face the winner of the match scheduled for Tuesday between American Steve Johnson and Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.