By SudOuest.fr with AFP
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the decisive double against the Czechs on Thursday night
But it was hard ! The France team ended up dominating the Czech Republic on Thursday evening in Vienna (2-1). The pair Nicolas Mahut – Pierre-Hugues Herbert, recently crowned for the second time at the Masters, brought the point of victory to the Blues by beating the young Jiri Lehecka and Tomas Machac in three sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-3).
Two hours before, Adrian Mannarino (71st worldwide) had kept the France team in the match by disposing of Jiri Vesely (82nd) 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-2, thus allowing France equalize at 1-1. Mannarino broke in the first set to lead 4-2. But while he was serving at 5-3, he in turn gave up his faceoff, without managing to convert a set point. And the two players came to the tie-break, easily won by the Czech who was very solid when the Frenchman missed and did not score a single point on his serve. The French subsequently enforced the world hierarchy.
Quite the opposite of Richard Gasquet (86th), overtaken by Tomas Machac (143rd) 7-6 (7/3), 6-2. At 35, Gasquet appeared to physically collapse against a 21-year-old opponent who played his luck thoroughly. “I can’t take it anymore,” he told his captain Sébastien Grosjean during a change of side in the middle of the second round. The Frenchman made the first break in the first set before giving up his next face-off. The two players arrived at the tie-break, dominated by the Czech thanks to five unforced errors from Gasquet.
« I was bad »
The match then completely shifted in favor of Machac, well helped by the mountain of unforced errors committed by Gasquet. “Experience is not all. It is especially the level which is important and the level was not good today, quite simply. I was bad. I did not manage to find the energy ”, coldly analyzed Gasquet, preferred to young Hugo Gaston by captain Sébastien Grosjean…
France will play its ticket for the quarter-finals on Saturday against the third team of this group C, Great Britain much more formidable than the Czech Republic. In case of victory, the Blues would finish first in the group and would be certain of qualifying. In case of defeat, they would have to finish among the two best runners-up in this six-group group stage.