Australian Open: big disappointments at Les Bleues, Gasquet eliminates Humbert

Disappointments also for Hugo Gaston, beaten by a qualifier, and Clara Burel, too soft for Garbine Muguruza, but qualification for Alizé Cornet, and Arthur Rinderknech.

After the qualifications Monday of Gaël Monfils, Benjamin Bonzi, Adrian Mannarino, Corentin Moutet and Harmony Tan, there will therefore be nine Tricolores, (7 in the men’s draw and 2 in the women’s) in the 2nd round.

It passes: Gasquet, Paire, Rinderknech and Cornet

Richard Gasquet, 81st in the world, won the second Franco-French duel of this 1st round by beating Ugo Humbert (40th) 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 .

Gasquet happily returns to the Australian Major in which he had not participated in the last three editions. In 2018, he had reached the 3rd round. In 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013, he reached the round of 16.

Benoît Paire, he happily reunited with the public he missed so much in the sanitary bubbles. He won his first match in a Grand Slam tournament since Roland-Garros 2020 on Tuesday.

The 56th ATP player, backed by a handful of raucous French supporters, overcame resistance from Brazilian Thiago Monteiro (79th) to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 7- 5 after 3:38 of a nervous match in which no point exceeded 4 exchanges.

Successful baptism for Arthur Rinderknech: for his first Australian Open at 26, the 48th in the world passed the 1st round by beating the Australian Alexei Popyrin (59th) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6 , 6-3.

Alizé Cornet (61st) dismissed Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova (118th and qualified) 6-3, 6-3.

“I didn’t have a good start to the game, I was quite tense, I made a lot of unforced errors and then I managed to put my game in place. I was the one who made the game all the match. But no match is easy, even against a qualifier”, analyzed the Niçoise, who will celebrate her 32nd birthday on Saturday.

She remains on three consecutive eliminations in the 2nd round in Melbourne where she reached the round of 16 in 2009.

Cornet is playing his 60th consecutive Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne since making his debut in Melbourne in 2007.

But she has never yet reached the quarters: “I am told that every time”, she laughed.

It breaks: Gaston, Humbert, Garcia, Dodin and Burel

Ugo Humbert (23 years old) therefore gave in to his elder Gasquet (35 years old). He had reached the second round last year for his third participation.

“I got tense at the end of the sets. I was not enterprising enough”, he analyzed.

Hugo Gaston (67th), who was participating in his second Australian Major after already being eliminated in the 1st round in 2020, was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 by the Australian Christopher O’Connell, 175th at the ATP and recipient of an invitation.

With his convincing end to the 2021 season, he hoped for better. “I’m frustrated because I know I can do a lot better,” he said.

But the disappointments will be even greater for Océane Dodin (85th) and Caroline Garcia (70th), eliminated when they seemed to control the debates.

Garcia led 6-4, 4-2 and had three balls to widen the gap to 5-2. But instead of folding the game, she let Hailey Baptiste, 165th and from qualifying, turn the tide of the game to win 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

Dodin had three match points before losing to Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu (64th) 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Clara Burel (77th) also lost, but more logically against world No.3 Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-4.

The French fought back, but too many unforced errors (28 over the whole game) and poor service (12 double faults in total over the match and 41% of first serves) prevented her from really threatening the game. ‘Spanish, finalist in Melbourne in 2020.

“I’m disappointed because there were a few moments when I felt like I could get ahead,” admitted Burel, stressing that the same argument could be positive.

“There was a match! It was the first time I played against such a highly ranked girl and on such a big court,” she noted after leaving the Rod Laver Arena.


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