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Wildcard Gaston keeps French flag flying with Wawrinka win

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PARIS (Reuters) - Wildcard Hugo Gaston took down former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka 2-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-0 in a riveting contest on Friday to advance to the fourth round and keep the home country’s hopes alive in the men’s draw at this year’s edition.

Gaston, albeit at only 1.73 metres, is the last French man standing out of the 18 that started in the main draw at this year’s tournament, wrapped up the contest with a bagel in the deciding set agains the three-time Grand Slam champion.

The Swiss, whose only loss to a Frenchman in 10 previous matches at Roland Garros was against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2012, ran out of steam as the 20-year-old, ranked 239th, romped to victory in front of the vociferous Court Suzanne Lenglen fans.

“I tried to play my game, I entered the court to win even if I didn’t think I could win,” Gaston said in his court-side interview.

Gaston, who broke Wawrinka eight times, will next face Austrian third seed and U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem, the runner-up at Roland Garros in the last two years.

“It’s going to be a crazy experience (against Thiem). I’m going to give everything, just like today and we’ll see the result. I will have nothing to lose,” he said.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ken Ferris

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