Gasquet Among 4 French Winners Tuesday In Metz
French men have won eight of the past 10 Moselle Open titles. And on Tuesday, home favourites made a good start towards improving that.
Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet was under plenty of pressure from Marcel Granollers in the first round of this ATP 250 tennis tournament, but the Frenchman rallied to defeat the Spaniard 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. The 33-year-old, who made the final in Metz in 2004 when he was 18, triumphed after two hours and 35 minutes.
Gasquet has won five of his 15 ATP Tour crowns in France. And the World No. 41 arrived to this event with momentum after making the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The only break of the decider came at 3-3. Granollers stood on the baseline, aggressively trying to move Gasquet around. But the Spaniard’s approach shot allowed too much time, as Gasquet flicked a backhand passing shot down the line for a clean winner. Two service holds later, Gasquet moved through to face third seed Benoit Paire, who has lifted two of his three ATP Tour trophies this year.
Wild card Gregoire Barrere caused the upset of the day, cruising past sixth seed and 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2. The Frenchman saved all five break points he faced in his 60-minute victory.
Barrere, who is at a career-high No. 98 in the ATP Rankings, has earned all five of his tour-level wins in 2019. The 25-year-old will next face countryman Antoine Hoang, who advanced on Monday.
Another Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, withstood 14 aces to defeat German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(3), 6-4. Herbert struck eight aces of his own and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points to set a second-round clash against compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who rallied past Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 after one hour and 53 minutes.
The former World No. 5, who emerged victorious in Montpellier earlier this year, blasted 10 aces and saved four of the six break points he faced. Tsonga has won this title three times, most recently in 2015.