Monfils opens, Mannarino to face Wawrinka, Van Esche stunning… Night and what to remember from the French

A rich night for the French clan in Melbourne: Gael Monfils wasted no time, Luca van Assche came back from a two-set deficit and Adrian Mannarino defeated Stan Wawrinka in five sets to qualify for the second round.

France Television – Sports Editorial



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Gael Monfils in action during his first round at the Australian Open, January 15, 2024.  (Frank Molter/dpa)

The rest of the first round of the Australian Open continues on Monday 15 January on the hot courts of Melbourne. Daniil Medvedev, the world No. 3, ruffled some feathers but qualified, as did French Varvara Gracheva, Gael Monfils, Luca van Assche, Hugo Gaston and Adrian Mannarino, with Stan Wawrinka’s forceps winners.

French: Monfils serious, Mannarino and Van Asche tired, Gaston opportunistic

“Grandpa” resisted. Adrian Mannarino, 35, beat Stan Wawrinka (38) in a five-set match that ended on the court as the French number one (19th in the ATP) took advantage of the Swiss’ physical collapse. Last two (6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0).

Like his elder, hopeful Luca van Esche (19 years old) rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to win in five sets, beating Australian guest James Duckworth, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 3 -6, 6-3, 6-3. In the second round, Adrian Mannarino will face Spaniard Jaume Munar (82nd) ​​and Luc van Asche will challenge young Italian Lorenzo Musetti (28th).

Later, in “Night Session”, Gael Monfils also shined. But star style shooting. It took just over 2 hours for the Parisian to defeat German Yannick Hanfmann (6-4, 6-3, 7-5). It has not been a difficult start for Monfils, who lost his only match so far in 2024 in Auckland against Hungarian Fabian Marozsan, who sprained his ankle during the match. At the age of 37, “La Monfe” continues his adventure and will face world number 30 Tomas Martin Hevery of Argentina in the second round.

Hugo Gaston, for his part, capitalized on his status as a “lucky loser” to beat Spaniard Roberto Carballes (63rd) 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round. The Toulouse left-hander, ranked 97th in the ATP, will now challenge world number 12 Taylor Fritz, who however suffered a fresh scare in the first round with his ankle, a known point of weakness.

Benjamin Bonzi (106th) against young Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who is ranked 28th in the world, lost almost three hours from the start 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2. As Constant Lestin (99th) defeated Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich (24th) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

In the women’s draw, Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva (39th) quickly qualified for the second round after defeating Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer (79th) 6-3, 6-4. Last May, the natural French, Russian-born Gracheva (23 years old), will face Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska (93rd) in the second round, qualifying and Wimbledon and the World n°7, defeating the last surprise winner of the Czech. Marketa Vondrossova 6-1, 6-2. Less success, however, for Fiona Farrow, defeated by American McCartney Kessler (3-6, 6-3, 6-2).

Favorite: Medvedev surprised but solid

Some heat for Daniil Medvedev. And the Melbourne furnace isn’t the only one responsible. The world number three lost the first set to Terence Atman (144th) in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday, before taking advantage to abandon the French qualifier in the fourth set, mired in cramping.

Medvedev, who was playing his first match of the 2024 season, eventually won 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0 in just over two and a half hours. Early in the third round (at 1-1), the young Habs suffered a sudden leg spasm and found himself unable to serve and play except for the spoon. And Atman, who ended up in tears on his bench, opted to give up early in the second game, in the fourth set.

In the second round, the double finalist of the Australian Open (2021 and 2022) will face Finn Emil Rusuvuri (53rd).

For his part, Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world No. 7 and outgoing finalist in Melbourne, got off to a false start before outclassing last-minute Belgian Zizou Bergs (129th) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. . The Greek was originally scheduled to open the Australian fortnight against former world top 10 Matteo Barrettini but the Italian withdrew due to an injury to his right foot.

In the women’s table, American Corey Goff, the No. 4 seed, got off to an easy start against Slovakian Karolina Schmidlova, dispatching her in two straight sets (6-3, 6-0).

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