Roland-Garros 2023: Arthur Rinderknech wins the 100% French duel against Richard Gasquet

Roland-Garros is already over for the French Richard Gasquet, 52nd player in the world, beaten by his compatriot and “big fan” Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), who won his first victory in the tournament on Tuesday in the first round. Yet supported by the majority of the Suzanne-Lenglen court, very sparse despite the tempting poster between these two French players, Gasquet gave in to the power and regularity at the baseline of the 78th ATP player, who will find the American Taylor Fritz (number 9) in the second round.

Moving tribute

On the decline at 36, the Biterrois once again fails to pass the first round of a Major, a few months after his elimination from the Australian Open. After his victory, Rinderknech launched into a moving tribute to his opponent of the day: “My coach and I are big fans of Richard. The player is a sacred champion. I want to thank him, because several times he guided me in my little tennis career, and he wants to pass it on to the youngest French players. It’s an immense happiness for us.”

Against his younger brother of nine years, Gasquet put up a good resistance during a match of 3 h 08 min. Realistic, Rinderknech took the first set of a nice passing forehand on his first opportunity (6-4). But Gasquet’s response was not long in coming: he broke at the start of the second round, before unwinding. Everything then succeeded at the “Musketeer”, like this setback at the wrong time which hung the line in length (30-0, 3-0).

A long awaited moment

After equalizing with one set everywhere (6-2), he continued his momentum, breaking from the start, then Rinderknech fought back and imposed his law in the third set (6-2). The lanky player then seemed to soar to victory, leading 5-0 in the fourth set. But, carried by the public who chanted his first name loudly, Gasquet made a fantastic comeback to 5-5, then pushed Rinderknech, then feverish, to the tie-break.

“I give two double faults at 5-1, he was cooked, he did not move, and then suddenly he starts jumping everywhere, commented Rinderknech. So it proves the champion he is. (. ..) I almost broke all my racquets but I got away with it.” He concluded in the deciding game to win his first match at Roland-Garros. “I waited a while, this victory at Roland, it took a long time to come, he breathed. I’m happy.”

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