Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: 22:04 p.m., May 30, 2023

Richard Gasquet and Roland-Garros are already over. The Frenchman was eliminated by his compatriot Arthur Rinderknech in the first round of the Grand Slam. Good player, the Biterrois said he lost against a good player but also against his "biggest fan".

Roland Garros is already over for Frenchman Richard Gasquet, ranked 52nd in the world, beaten by 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 court Suzanne-Lenglen, very sparse despite the enticing poster between these two French players, Gasquet has bent in the face of the power and regularity at the back of the court of the 78th player at the ATP, who will meet the American Taylor Fritz (number 9) in the second round.

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Moving tribute

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

Against his nine-year-old junior, Gasquet put up a good resistance during a match of 3 h 08 min. Realistic, Rinderknech took the first set of a nice forehand pass on his first opportunity (6-4). But Gasquet's response was not long in coming: he broke at the beginning of the second set, before rolling. Everything then succeeded at the "Musketeer", like this backhand at the wrong time that hung the line in length (30-0, 3-0).

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A long-awaited moment

After tying at one set all over (6-2), he continued his momentum, breaking at the start, then Rinderknech fought back and imposed his law in the third set (6-2). The slender player then seemed to fly to victory, leading 5-0 in the fourth set. But, carried by the crowd who chanted his 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 didn't move, and then all of a sudden he started jumping around," Rinderknech said. So it proves the champion that he is. (...) I almost broke all my rackets but I got through it." He finished in the deciding game to win his first match at Roland Garros. "I've been waiting for it for a while, this victory at Roland, it took a long time to come. I'm happy."