Three French players crash out, one advances

Three home players crashed out in their first round matches, but in a pairing of compatriots, Gilles Simon defeated Lucas Pouille 6/3, 6/4. The dismal day for host country commenced with Fernando Verdasco of Spain defeating Jeremy Chardy 6/4; 6/4, followed by Marton Fucsovics of Hungary dismissing Benoit Paire 6/4; 6/4 and ending with Mikhail Kukukshin of Russia outlasting Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3/6; 6/3; 7/5. It was a dismal outing for Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas who lost 3/6; 3/6 to Russia’s Damiil Dzumhur.

The 27-year old Herbert, a top ranked doubles player won the first set by 6 games to 3. In the opening game of the second set, Kukukshin struggled through a 7-minute stretch before holding. It was a fateful game as he broke Herbert and held for a 3-0 lead. Although the Frenchman won the fourth game, the set flowed routinely with serve to end 6-3.

In the decider, Herbert shot ahead 2-1 and took Kukukshin’s serve to lead 3-1. However a reverse of breaks gave the Russian the fifth game and he saved a break point before taking the sixth game to level 3-all. Although he had three game points at 40-15; Kukukshin was taken to deuce before holding serve. Herbert survived two break points before winning the seventh game.

The two players held their service games to reach 5-all. In the eleventh game, Herbert faced three break points at 30-40, saved one of them but surrendered the break. Serving for the match, Kukukshin reached match point at 40-30 and sealed the victory after 2 hours and 17 minutes. The 30-year old from Volgograd won their first ever career match-up.

Marton Fucsovics won the first set 6/4. Paire lost his serve to concede a break in the third game of second set and his opponent consolidated to 3-1. An exchange of breaks led to 4-2 but Paire held to reduce the gap. Fucsovics won four straight points to extend the lead to 5-3. The Frenchman hammered an ace to take the ninth game but Fucsovics dropped only one point on serve to take the second set 6/4 after one hour and 17 minutes. It was their third career meeting, all in 2018. Herbert had won in Umag Croatia while Fucsovics prevailed in Pune India.

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet