Finally, a ray of sunshine in the gray.
While each day carried its share of eliminations in the French tennis camp, this Wednesday has, at least briefly, offered a good and beautiful breath of fresh air.
Thanks to two men, Ugo Humbert and Jérémy Chardy, both qualified for the quarter-finals of the Olympic tournament.
But if the second had the merit of enforcing (with difficulty) the logic against the Briton Liam Broady, a player who has never been in the world Top 100 in singles but who will have withstood him nearly three hours and three sets ( 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1), the first, him, achieved a small feat by leaving the seed number 3, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, beaten in three sets (2-6, 7 -6 (4), 6-2).
The full Olympic program
The Olympic medal table
This is the seventh time since 1988, when tennis was reintroduced to the Games, that a Frenchman has climbed to the quarterfinals. In Rio, Gaël Monfils had also reached this level, before falling to Kei Nishikori. Humbert, 23, will meet the Russian Karen Khachanov, seed number 12 there. Another big challenge. However, this victory over the last finalist at Roland Garros is a good performance for Messin, who had already beaten the Greek at Bercy in November after a particularly close match. Humbert had already beaten two members of the world top 10 in Halle last June, taking the heads of Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev to win the third title of his career, the most beautiful.
In an Olympic table deprived of a good part of the best in the world (Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in particular) who preferred to give up even before the start of the Games, the French have achieved a better than expected course. This could give balm to the heart of French tennis after mediocre performances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon where no French had passed the second round. A success that Humbert built by showing self-sacrifice, as the first set had turned to the demonstration of Tsitsipas. But the debates ended up rebalancing before the Greek freaked out at the end of the second set by falling and hurting his leg, before requesting the intervention of medical services and then resuming the match. Ultimately,he was able to resume but his beautiful mechanics were visibly broken in view of a last round also one-sided, but this time for the benefit of the French (6-2).