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Unseeded Marco Cecchinato on an Unthinkable Ride at French Open

PARIS — Let us not bury the lede.

Marco Cecchinato, a 25-year-old Italian ranked No. 72 who had not won a Grand Slam singles match until arriving at the French Open this year, is in the semifinals after upsetting Novak Djokovic, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-6 (11), on Tuesday.

It is one of the great Grand Slam Cinderella stories, and Cecchinato, who has a tattoo of the number 13, is clearly one who can see opportunity where others might see bad luck.

He has made the most of a brutal draw, knocking off three seeded players, and his unexpected run comes in the same clay-covered place where a few other charismatic outsiders have also emerged from fairly close to nowhere.