After the fumes and downpours, the sun flooded Melbourne and the Australian Open on Tuesday where the Blues started without shining a marathon day during which 96 games are scheduled due to dozens of postponements from the previous day.
Seventeen of the 18 French entrants are on deck on this second day, and the first to play in the morning were struggling.
Starting with Kristina Mladenovic who, despite the confidence accumulated by her victory against the world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in early November in the Fed Cup final, could not do anything against the world No.2 Karolina Pliskova.
The Czech, semi-finalist last year, held her rank and dominated the French, 41st at ATP, 6-1, 7-5.
"I'm in great shape, my level of play is there but today I'm just losing to a world N.2 so there is nothing to say. The table is as it is. I have no doubt that my level of play is there, "said Mladenovic.
Pauline Parmentier, who played her last Australian Open before retiring at the end of the season, lost but having "burst on the court" against the Chinese Qiang Wang (7-6 (7 / 2), 6-3).
The march was also too high for Corentin Moutet: the 70th world was logically but sharply beaten by the ex-world N.3 Marin Cilic (now 39th) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Ditto for Adrian Mannarino (44th) overtaken by Dominic Thiem (5th) 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.
- Humbert on the verge of tears -
Ugo Humbert (43rd) fought like hell against local John Millman (47th). But a few days after winning his first ATP title in Auckland, the 21-year-old lost 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
"I'm touched, it's not easy. It's tennis, we can go in a few days from a superb victory to a very bad match so I'm very disappointed. I expected to do better, I wanted to do better, "he said on the verge of tears.
Caroline Garcia and Benoît Paire qualified well, but it was hard!
Crowned by his Fed Cup victory, won in Australia, Garcia gave up a set to Madison Brengle (95th), before taking the upper hand. The 46th world won 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-2.
"I had a time to adapt to his game, which is special. I still had a lot of chances in the first set but I had too many ups and downs in my intensity. was frustrated to have lost this first set after efforts to come back, "she said.
- Pair made of Pair -
"It's very good to know how to win complicated games by doing the best you can with my level of the day," she said.
Pair, he did Pair ... Between a pain inside the right thigh and mountains of direct faults (75 in total against 48 to his opponent), the N.21 at ATP put close 3:30 to win against the German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (154th) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0.
"Hit the ball, hit the ball, come on, come on!" What invective it took to get the upper hand. "Apply!", "What is this hand!" sometimes shouted to criticize themselves, sometimes more sharply, sometimes to encourage themselves.
Ultimately, the 30-year-old Avignonese runner-up in Auckland on Saturday will play the second round in Melbourne for the first time since 2017, when he reached the third round, his best result in the Australian Major, already achieved in 2014.
Gaël Monfils, 10th in the world, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 33rd and finalist in 2008, must enter the contest in the afternoon.
Rafael Nadal, world No.1 looking for a 20th Grand Slam title to match Roger Federer, sent the Bolivian Hugo Dellien (73rd) 6-2, 6-3, 6-0.
The Russian Daniil Medvedev, 4th in the world who had given a lot of trouble to the Spaniard in the final of the last US Open, must start at the opening of the night session.
© 2020 AFP