Gasquet Saves Two Match Points, 19 Break Points In Lyon Thriller
Seventh seed Herbert also moves on
Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet saved two match points on Monday to reach the second round of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon, battling past his French countryman Maxime Janvier, a qualifier, 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(2) after two hours and 44 minutes. Gasquet saved 19 of the 22 break points he faced in the match.
"It was very tough. He's a good player. He's very powerful, he played well, he served good. So of course it was very tough for me," Gasquet said. "But I tried my best. It's only my fourth match in 2019 so of course it's tough for me, but I'll try to recover as soon as I can. And of course I tried my best and it's great for me to win."
The 32-year-old, who underwent groin surgery in January and only played three matches this year before his win against Janvier, will face American Taylor Fritz for a spot in the quarter-finals. Fritz didn’t face a break point in a 7-5, 7-6(3) win over qualifier Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in one hour and 38 minutes.
"I'll have to recover well and we will see," Gasquet said. "Of course I'm a little bit tired now."
Seventh seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert continued his strong form on the spring European clay-court swing when he lost just five of his first-service points in a 6-2, 7-5 victory over fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Herbert, who advanced to the recent Hungarian Open semi-finals (l. to Krajinovic), will next play American Steve Johnson, who was a 6-2, 7-6(2) winner over South African lucky loser Lloyd Harris in just over 90 minutes. Harris gained his spot in the main draw when Slovakian Martin Klizan withdrew due to stomach problems.
France’s Ugo Humbert, who is currently at a career-high No. 61 in the ATP Rankings, swept past last year’s semi-finalist Cameron Norrie 6-1, 6-3 in 66 minutes. He will next challenge third-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
French lucky loser Tristan Lamasine, who gained entry to the main draw when Mikhail Kukushkin withdrew due to right shoulder pain, took advantage of his opportunity by defeating #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner, a 17-year-old, 6-0, 7-6(5). Canadian qualifier Steven Diez led Bernard Tomic 6-4, 4-1 when the Aussie retired due to illness.