It is nothing to say that France made a sluggish entry on Thursday in Davis Cup.

In Innsbruck, they beat the Czech Republic 2-1, and Richard Gasquet's first game could be expensive when it comes to tallying up the quarterfinals.

In addition to the defeat of Richie (86th worldwide) against Tomas Machac (143rd) in two short sets, Adrian Mannarino (71st) experienced difficulty in equalizing at the expense of Jiri Vesely (82nd), and the pair Nicolas Mahut / Pierre-Hugues Herbert, yet crowned with his second Masters coronation, suffered a lot to beat Jiri Lehecka associated with decidedly very lively Tomas Machac (3-6, 6-4, 6-3)

By having given up a match and at least one set per match (i.e. four sets in total), the qualification of the Blues for the quarters requires a victory on Saturday against Great Britain to secure first place in Group C. A place among the two best runners-up of the six groups seems indeed compromised.

“I think they (the British) are a bit stronger on paper than us, but they're far from out of reach.

It will be complicated but not mission impossible, ”assured Mannarino.

In view of the course of the first day, the task promises to be complicated against a team made up of Cameron Norrie (12th) and Daniel Evans (25th) in singles.

"Go out to a everywhere"

Also complicated will be the task of captain Sébastien Grosjean to choose his next singles players: to keep Gasquet despite his failure which visibly affected him morally, Mannarino who came out with great difficulties, or to play the novice Arthur Rinderknech ( 58th)?

"When entering the field at one-zero, I knew that we did not have a lot of margin for error and that we had to leave the court everywhere", commented Mannarino to explain his difficulties and in particular why he was "caught up in the tension" at key moments such as when he failed to finish the first set.

"I was bad"

But, he who had only played until then a Davis Cup meeting, ended up winning and bringing back the smile to the French by equalizing a victory everywhere. Because the first meeting had plunged the whole bench in consternation, faced with the inability of Gasquet to win. Selected for his experience, he regretted not having had "the level". “Experience is not all. It is especially the level which is important and the level was not good today, quite simply, “analyzed the 35-year-old player.

“I was bad in the game.

I couldn't find the energy.

It was especially the loss of the first set that really hurt me more than it should have, ”he added, considering that he was“ less solid than before ”.

Fortunately, France can rely on a team of double dominatrix.

And yet!

Even Mahut and Herbert almost got caught.

“We had a sluggish start, but in the second and third sets, we played well,” said Mahut.

It will still take a little more than that to overcome the British. 

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  • Richard Gasquet

  • French team

  • Davis Cup

  • Sport

  • Tennis

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