The champions of the title are already outside. Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert were released in the first round of the Australian Open, beaten in two sets (6-4; 7-6) by the Frenchman Benoît Paire, associated with the Italian Simone Bolelli, after only 1h18 of play. The tricolors were however very favorite and seeded number 1 in the doubles tournament.
The No.1 seeds are OUT ❌ @ BolelliSimone / @ benoitpaire upset #AusOpen 2019 champions Herbert / Mahut, 6-4 7-6 (3) to advance to the second round. # AO2020 pic.twitter.com/hdivCFL0F0- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2020
It must be said that Pierre-Hugues Herbert had surrendered in singles, just 24 hours before and in five sets, against the Belgian David Goffin. Tired, he conceded his service in each round of this meeting. "My course in singles weighed, for sure, [...] today the legs were very heavy and the head did not react too much", he declared at the end of this defeat which did not will not be without consequence.
The duo will tumble in the ATP ranking after this poor performance. In addition to the loss of 2000 points, he put himself, at the same time, in difficulty for the qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. One of the members of the pair must indeed appear in the individual top 10 doubles players on June 8. Which is still the case for Nicolas Mahut, but beware of the drop in speed in the coming weeks.
Benoît Private pair of beaches and cocktails
As for Benoît Paire, he recovered rather well from his defeat in the second round in singles, last Wednesday, after a five-set marathon spread over two days. “I still have the doubles tournament to play with Simone Bolelli. He's only there for that, so I still have to keep my commitment, "he said at a press conference after the match. "I will try to be at the maximum but I must take a step back before making the tournament in India at the beginning of February".
And to continue: “I have a friend who goes to the Philippines so, for a week, I may just relax, go to the beach, sit by the pool and drink cocktails. That's what I like. I just want to put the racket down because I can't see it anymore. ” It is missed for this time. In the second round, Paire and Bolelli will face the Belgians Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé.