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Ricky’s Paris Update • Frenchmen Crash Out Of Roland Garros, And Goffin Loses @2018 French Open Tennis

Richard Gasquet of France plays Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2018. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON



By Ricky Dimon


With Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sidelined by an injury and Gael Monfils less than 100 percent going into the tournament, the 2018 French Open was always expected to be a difficult one for the host nation.


It was even worse than expected.


Adding insult to literal injury, Richard Gasquet drew none other than world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the opening round. That only exacerbated France’s plight, and the end result was that for the first time since 2007 not a single Frenchman reached round four at Roland Garros.


Heading into Saturday, Monfils, Gasquet, Lucas Pouille, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert made up the foursome still clinging to life. Monfils blew four match points in his darkness-delayed match against David Goffin and fell in five; Gasquet got thrashed by Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; Lucas Pouille succumbed to Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-5, 6-3; Herbert lost to John Isner 7-6(1), 6-4, 7-6(4).


The final tally had Frenchmen winning one set on Saturday (Monfils) and losing nine. And with that it was an unceremonious–and very early–conclusion to the 2018 French Open for the home team.


Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France plays John Isner of the USA during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2018. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

“Jo was used to playing the second week, so the fact that he didn’t play here obviously gave us less chances,” Herbert noted following his setback against Isner. “But even though Gael didn’t play well, he still went up to match point today. He wasn’t far from beating David. As for Richard, he didn’t have the best third round of the draw.


“As for me, it’s my best result here. So it’s really cool to make it to the third round, although I was hoping for more. Gilles is coming back well, but in the ATP ranking we’re not as well-positioned as we were at one time in France. Obviously it’s harder to [go far in tournaments] in that situation.”


“Well, I’ve just lost, so I’m disappointed,” Monfils said when asked about the French exodus. “I’m first to be disappointed for myself, disappointed for my team, my family, my friends, and for the public, of course. The rest, well, it’s a general question. So it’s not relevant for me.”


But it is relevant to the French fans, who are without their men on the court for the entire second week. And now even Goffin is gone. The Belgian, who generally enjoys raucous support from the legions of Belgians in attendance, had no days off before facing Marco Cecchinato and got upset in four sets on Sunday.


While it’s back to the drawing board for the Frenchmen, pressure mounts on the lone surviving Frenchwoman: Caroline Garcia.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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