Gaston's Fairytale Comeback Sinks Alcaraz
French qualifier Hugo Gaston wrote another chapter of his fairytale run to the Rolex Paris Masters quarter-finals Thursday night with a jaw-dropping comeback win over fellow #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz.
Fuelled by a raucous Paris crowd, the World No. 103 rallied from 0-5 in the second set to win 20 of the last 21 points of the match to stun the 18-year-old Spaniard 6-4, 7-5.
It was the latest and most remarkable turnaround in a dramatic week that began with Gaston saving two match points in the first round of qualifying against former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson. He then came from a set and a break down to beat another #NextGenATP teen Lorenzo Musetti to qualify for the main draw.
He dropped the first set to Arthur Rinderknech in the first round, came from a set and a break down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round and then twice came from a break down in the first set against Alcaraz before uncorking tonight's second-set escape, during which he won 17 consecutive points.
The latest turnaround from 0-5 came as a shock to the 21-year-old lefty, who benefitted from what Jim Courier coined “a festival of errors” from Alcaraz.
“I was drifting off at that point, and he started to have a letdown, as well,” Gaston said. “He made a lot of mistakes, because I managed to have fast balls, slow balls, to have high balls. He started to lose his groove, and I stayed focused. This is why I managed to overturn the match in my favour.
“[The atmosphere] was incredible. Honestly, I have been playing tennis for this. It was actually incredible. It was really wonderful to live this match with them. I actually won because they supported me from beginning to the end even when I had a letdown during the first or the second set, they were always cheering me. It's incredible to have such a great public.”
Gaston advances to play second seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev.