Engaged in the first round of qualifying for the Miami Masters 1000, Benoit Paire and Geoffrey Blancaneaux both made it through the first round.
If no Frenchwoman appears in the qualifying table of the Miami tournament, there are however two tricolors in the men’s table: Geoffrey Blancaneaux (169th) and Benoit Paire (170th). And they all passed the first of the two rounds in the program. Winner of Roland-Garros juniors in 2016 by beating a certain Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final, Blancaneaux, now 24, got rid of the Australian Rinky Hijikata (125th) with a score of 3-6, 6- 3, 6-4 in 2h22.
The Parisian served 8 aces and only lost his serve once, at 2-3 in the first set. He then reacted perfectly by winning the second set with a break at 1-0 and the third with a break at 4-4. He thus signs his first victory since February 13, after five defeats in a row. The Parisian, who at best reached the 134th world rank (last November), will be opposed to the German Daniel Altmaier (114th) for the first time in his career. If he wins, he will play his very first Masters 1000.
Benoit Paire, meanwhile, is a regular at the Masters 1000, but his current ranking no longer allows him to enter the tables directly. Winner of a Challenger tournament in Mexico nine days ago and then eliminated from the Challenger in Phoenix, he won his first match in Florida against the Dutchman Gijs Brouwer (120th), whom he faced for the first time: 6 -2, 6-4 in 1h08.
The French only lost his face-off once, when he had just broken at the start of the match. But he recovered well and followed up with a white break (3-2) then again took the opposing service at 4-2. In the second, a break at 1-1 and two break points saved at 4-3 allowed him to win. He will have a formidable opponent in the last round, in the person of Thanasi Kokkinakis, 94th in the world, who beat him in Adelaide and Cincinnati last year. If he wins, he will play his eighth Masters 1000 in Miami, where he reached the round of 16 three times.