(CNN)The fortnight at the French Open only just started but for two German players the memories will last a lifetime.
In a fine illustration of the joy the first weeks at majors can bring, the little known pair that went through qualifying drew legendary duo Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Wednesday. Yannick Maden and Oscar Otte never realistically had a chance of engineering upsets that would have gone down as among the biggest in tennis history — Nadal duly beat Maden 6-1 6-2 6-4 before Federer topped Otte 6-4 6-3 6-4 — but that was hardly the point. Visit CNN Sport for more news and videos
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) 29 May 2019 Maden and Otte — who had never won a grand slam match prior to this week or been inside the top 100 — shared the same court as the titans who have amassed a combined 37 grand slams. Read More”It was definitely the biggest match of my career,” Maden told German press in Paris. “At the net Rafa was very nice — he said well done and good luck for the season.”Lucky loser Otte, 25, and Maden, 29, own a combined 17 titles, all in the lowest rung of the professional ladder. Otte fell in all eight grand slam qualifying visits, including sustaining a “bagel” in the third set of his final qualifying match last week against Guillermo Garcia Lopez. From that low came delight when Otte secured one of the lucky loser spots and defeated established Tunisian Malek Jaziri in the first round. READ: Osaka escapes in first roundREAD: Serena overcomes first-set lossJUST WATCHEDTearful Roger Federer remembers late coachReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Tearful Roger Federer remembers late coach 03:21Dream jobAccording to his biography on the ATP website, Otte describes himself as funny and says being a chef is his dream job. He was unable to cook up the upset on Philippe Chatrier but didn’t appear overwhelmed, either, blasting serves and flat forehands that had Federer scurrying in what was an entertaining one hour, 36-minute clash. His compatriot Maden enjoyed All American doubles honors at Clemson University — he played with his brother in South Carolina — and turned pro in 2013. Maden lists his favorite surface as indoor hard, a contrast to the outdoor clay that Nadal has ruled for most of the past 14 years. The 11-time French Open champion improved to 14-0 and zero sets conceded when facing players outside the top 100 at Roland Garros yet he was made to work that little bit harder in the third set on Suzanne Lenglen. Rafael Nadal looked in ominous form in Paris. Nadal felt his level dropped but also acknowledged Maden’s improvement. “He played well,” said Nadal. “He did a few good things. He changed strategy, and he became more aggressive. This obviously complicated the situation a little bit.” Sterner tests are on the way for both Nadal and Federer in the third round, when seeds can clash for the first time. Nadal plays 27th seed David Goffin on Friday, a former top-10 player slowed by injury in the last year. The Belgian has intermittently troubled Nadal on a clay court even if he has lost all three of their matches on the surface. Next opponents set Federer confronts Norway’s Casper Ruud, who upset 29th seed Matteo Berrettini. Ruud — whose dad Christian is a former world No. 39 — trains at Nadal’s academy in Mallorca. The women’s draw lost a top contender when fourth seed Kiki Bertens retired, apparently due to illness, trailing Viktoria Kuzmova 3-1 in the first set. It followed the pre-tournament withdrawal of another player in form, Petra Kvitova. Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek star who stunned Federer prior to losing to Nadal at January’s Australian Open, reached a maiden third round at the French Open by defeating Hugo Dellien 4-6 6-0 6-3 7-5, while last year’s women’s finalist Sloane Stephens progressed 6-1 7-6 (7-4) over Sara Sorribes Tormo.