Thank you Hugo Gaston!
This Wednesday afternoon, thanks to Toulouse, Roland-Garros looked like… Roland-Garros.
The small court n ° 5 was well stocked to see the left-hander of the Blagnac club, 20 years old and number 239 at ATP, take out the Japanese Nishioka (6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-2), located 187 rows higher in the world hierarchy.
“Yes, he's a real Roland,” smiles the one who has arguably had the best match of his career.
For his first large painting in Paris, Gaston responds perfectly to the invitation granted to the FFT.
And seduced by the palette of strokes that he is able to distill with his extraordinary touch.
A true designer, straight out of a bygone tennis.
Roland-Garros: Nadal expeditious, Thiem passes, Azarenka and Paire out… what to remember from the 4th day
“I was not surprised by his level of play, breathes Marc Barbier, his coach at the Ligue d'Occitanie, but by his ability to be so consistent and efficient over the length of a match.
There was doubt about his concentration… ”The Frenchman's only experience in this matter dates back to the beginning of the year in the first round of the Australian Open, where the Spaniard Munar had the last word in four rounds. .
The week before the tournament, Gaston and his staff did not skimp on the physical work.
Daily sessions of 6h, 6h30 to be up to the task and also erase prejudices due to its size (1.73m).
"I am constantly asked the question of the template, loose Barbier.
But we should not focus on it.
It is his hand, his eye and his talent that will allow him to move forward.
And now, Wawrinka
Even in service, the Bleu du Sud does not meet the standards.
He is indeed one of the very few players not to let the ball bounce before committing.
If the general public does not necessarily know him, Gaston, who hit his first balls at 3 at the Fonsorbes club, of which his father was the president, has long been part of the blue-white-red hopes.
Passed by the France pole of Poitiers then by Insep before returning to his native region.
Flag bearer in every sense of the word.
The former world junior n ° 2 indeed led the French delegation to the Youth Olympic Games two years ago in Buenos Aires.
Before returning from Argentina clad in gold (individual) and bronze (boys' doubles with Clément Tabur and mixed with Clara Burel).
A point in common with his next opponent on Friday.
In the third round, the young man will indeed challenge Stan Wawrinka, on the roof of Olympus with Federer in 2008. And incidentally triple winner in Grand Slam, including Roland-Garros 2015.
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When Gaston has a crush on Rafael Nadal, the Swiss is Barbier's favorite player.
The step is very high.
But the first French player born in 2000 to reach the sixteenth is learning a little more every day ...