Opposed to his compatriot Alexandre Muller in the first round of the ATP 500 tournament in Hamburg, Luca Van Assche won his first victory in a tournament of this category.
At 19, Luca Van Assche has already won a Grand Slam match, against Marco Cecchinato at the last Roland-Garros, but he had not had the opportunity to win any victory in an ATP 500 tournament. It is now done since this Monday and his success on the clay courts of Hamburg. The world No. 77 was opposed to his compatriot Alexandre Muller, ranked one rank ahead of him. An opponent he knows well, despite their seven-year gap, since they had already faced each other four times on the Challenger circuit (two wins everywhere). Et Van Assche won 7-6, 6-4 in 2:14. Both players were not having a great day on serve (although Van Assche served 6 aces and Muller 8), conceding five and six times respectively.
Five games in a row for Van Assche
Broken from the start, the former winner of Roland-Garros juniors reacted immediately (1-1), then did the same when he lost his serve at 2-2 (3-3). And after missing four break points at 5-5, it was finally in the tiebreak that Van Assche made the difference, winning it 7-3 after leading the race from start to finish. But that didn’t bother Muller, who quickly led 4-1 30-30 in the second set.
We then seemed to be heading for a third set, but Van Assche suddenly woke up and won five games in a row, and therefore the match! He needed three break points to come back to 2-4, but only one was enough to equalize at 4-4 and then win 6-4. Thanks to this success, the young Frenchman will gain six places in the standings, before facing Pedro Cachin, who has just won the Gstaad tournament, or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat him in the second round of Roland-Garros. With only 16 points to defend by the end of the US Open, the great hope of French tennis can still climb the hierarchy. Especially if he continues to win matches in the ATP 500…