Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Sport, Tennis

Exit of French players as Nadal, Muguruza, Goffin, Fognini advance

Richard Gasquet of France / AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR

It was a dismal day for the host country, as three French stars dropped out in the third round. Lucas Pouille lost to Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6/3; 7/5; 6/3. The other French hope, Richard Gasquet was a shadow of himself in losing to Rafael Nadal 6/3; 6/2; 6/2 in barely two hours. Gael Monfils had a match point on David Goffin’s serve in the tenth game of the fourth set but it was saved by the Belgian who proceeded to break Monfils and take the set 7-5 and the decider 6-3.

The day opened with the match between 2016 champion, Garbine Muguruza and Australia’s Samantha Stosur. The Spanish lady won 6/0; 6/2. It was not much of a contest as the Spanish champion ran through the first set in less than twenty minutes. In the second set, Samantha lost the opening game on serve while her opponent ran a streak of eight games.

In the third game of second set, Samantha took three points to reach 401-15 and she held to the delight of the crowd yearning for a battle; especially after she took Garbine’s serve at love to level 2-all. However, she conceded the fifth game and was broken again in the seventh game after reaching deuce on serve. Although Garbine dropped the first point while serving for the set and match, she took three straight points for the victory.

Annett Kontaveit from Estonia continued her impressive run from the warm-up tournaments as she faced the eighth seed, Petra Kvitova from Zech Republic. In the first set, each lady held serve easily in many four-point games. In the ensuing tie break, Annett dropped the first point on serve and both players tallied 3-all at the changeover. Petra had the first set point at 6-5 but dropped it on her serve, enabling her opponent to hit two winning serves for the set at 8-6.

The second set could have been shorter if Annett had converted many break opportunities especially in the fifth game. Petra reached 40-30 game point on her serve but after the deuce, she survived four break advantages before she won the game on her fourth opportunity. In the sixth game, however, she deprived Annett of four winning chances and took the game to lead 4-2. She proceeded to lose the seventh game after deuce and Annett leveled 4-all. The two players traded service breaks and the set was decided by a tie break that the Estonian won by 7 points to 4.

Fabio Fognini seeded 18 outlasted 16th seeded Kyle Edmund in a five-set duel played over 3 hours and 34 minutes. It was a match of quick service games. Edmund broke Fognini in the first game of the match and led 2-0. After a reversal of breaks, Fognini took the seventh game and broke Edmund’s serve to lead 5-3 before serving out the set. Fognini lost his serve in the fourth and sixth games of the second set and was 1-5 as Kyle served for the set. However, the Briton dropped serve in the seventh and ninth games but broke Fabio in the tenth to clinch the set 6-4.

One single break of Fognini’s serve handed Edmund the third set. The Italian shot maker took Edmund’s serve in the second game to lead 3-0 in the fourth but lost his serve in the fifth game to reduce the tally 3-2. Although Edmund held serve to level at 3-all, Fabio took the Briton’s serve in the ninth game and served out the set 6-4. He proceeded to win the decider by same score of 6-4.