Less than two weeks before Roland-Garros, the French players, all eliminated in Rome, are refining their preparation in lower category tournaments. And Tuesday offered its share of joys and disappointments.
Quickly eliminated from the very tough Rome tournament, most French players have chosen to bounce back quickly by playing lower category tournaments this week, in order to prepare as well as possible for Roland-Garros. And it is on the side of the Challenger de Bordeaux that many French tennis leaders have decided to settle down. Starting with Corentin Moutet, eliminated by Fabian Marozsan, the surprising scorer of Carlos Alcaraz, in Rome. Seeded n°8 in Gironde, the 67th in the world, who remained on three defeats since his return from injury at the end of April, disposed of the Belgian lucky-loser Michal Geerts (224th): 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 with 75% first serves. Virtually 62nd in the world, he will be opposed in the next round to Dominic Thiem, who is, following the withdrawal of Nick Kyrgios, the first player on the waiting list to enter directly into the Roland-Garros table.
The Austrian eliminated Benoit Paire, who remained in a final in an Italian Challenger on Sunday, with the score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The French was not in great shape on the serve, with 12 double faults on the counter and 11 break points to defend (5 saved). In the 100% French duel of the day, Luca Van Assche got the better of Harold Mayot (who is not one of the players to have received an invitation for the Roland-Garros singles draw) by winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
A victory despite 12 break points to defend which will allow him to obtain his best ranking next Monday (he is virtually 78th). Also note the defeat of Ugo Blanchet (336th) against a Stan Wawrinka in search of confidence before going to Paris: 6-3, 6-1. The bad news of the day came from the abandonment of Hugo Gaston (110th) at Oeiras in Portugal, when he was led 6-3, 6-0 by Pedro Martinez. Let’s hope it’s not too serious for the Toulousain, who obtained a wild card to play Roland-Garros.
Cornet wins, Mladenovic loses again
On the women’s side, we are playing this week at Lagardère Paris Racing in the Bois de Boulogne. And the day did not go very well for the French. Alizé Cornet, seeded No. 7, managed to eliminate American Ashlyn Krueger 7-6, 6-3 despite seven double faults. She will face South Korean Su Jeong Jang, who eliminated Fiona Ferro 6-3, 6-1. Océane Dodin, 99th in the world, got rid of Chloé Paquet (2-6, 6-4, 6-3) despite 14 double faults and six breaks conceded. On the other hand, it’s over for Kristina Mladenovic (invited for Roland-Garros), who lost her seventh game in a row, against Caty McNally (6-4, 6-4) and for the former winner of Roland-Garros juniors Elsa Jacquemot (174th), beaten by Linda Noskova (6-1, 2-6, 6-4).