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Roberto Bautista Agut advances past Denis Istomin in an emotionally charged first round match at Roland Garros.

After Passing Of His Mother, RBA Claims Gritty, Emotional Win

Spaniard outlasts Istomin over five sets in opening round at Roland Garros

The past several days have been difficult ones for Roberto Bautista Agut after the passing of his mother, Ester, one week ago. Things didn't get any easier on Monday, but the Spaniard persevered and battled his way into the second round at Roland Garros by defeating Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-7(3), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 30 minutes.

"That was a very emotional match, especially with everything that's happened in the past week," Bautista Agut said. "It was an encounter filled with highs and lows ... it isn't easy to keep your mind on the court when you've got all these thoughts and feelings inside your head."

The 13th seeded Spaniard managed to gather himself going into the fourth set and finished the match with a total of 48 winners, 18 of those coming in the final two sets.

"When I was two sets to one down, I knew I had no choice but to raise my game and intensity, and I ended up playing really well from that point on," Bautista Agut said.

Bautista Agut, who meets Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in the second round, is determined to stay upbeat following the death of his mother and is at peace with his decision to play in Paris.

"The past few days have been difficult and it isn't easy to get through circumstances like the one I'm in right now," Bautista Agut said. "I believed the best thing to do would be to come (to Roland Garros) and move forward, not stay at home or hide from it all but rather keep fighting, just as I did here today."