August 11, 2020

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Last ones there, turn out the lights

MELBOURNE – Qualifying began at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

And by 9 p.m., under the lights, these two were still going at it.

In the end, Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, the No. 27 seed in the qualifying, outlasted Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy after nearly being out of it in straight sets.

Final score was 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Herbert, just 22, sits at his career best No. 151 in the rankings. He has never qualified for a Grand Slam main draw.

Arnaboldi, who just turned 26, is at No. 213, a few spots off a career best reached in 2009.

He doesn’t even rate a pic with his bio on the ATP Tour web site.

Arnaboldi also has never qualified at a Grand Slam. He came closest at the U.S. Open last fall (his first attempt in two years), where he lost in a third-set tiebreaker in the final round.

These two might have been keeping some grumbly people working late. But it meant everything to them.