On Wednesday evening at the ATP Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in the second round, Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille went head-to-head for a chance to face compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next round, who defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in straights. It was the world number 82 who came away a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over his experienced team mate.
Late break seals first set for Gasquet
In the opening game of the set, Gasquet had a break point chance, but Pouille erased that and held to get the match underway. In the following game, Pouille had three chances to break the world number 10 and failed to get ahead in the set.
A couple of games, later at 3-2, Pouille had a breakpoint and a backhand winner down the line saved the more experienced Frenchman as he held for 3-3. With the set at 4-4, Richard Gasquet broke on his second break chance, forcing the error from his 22-year-old opposition. The 28-year old clinched the set 6-4, with an unreadable serve.
Pouille fights to force decider
The second set started with two holds of serve. As the set wore on, it seemed to get more tight and more tense. Neither player were giving their opposition any chances with hold after hold. At 4-5 in the set, Pouille had to fight from 30-love down to clinch the game and level the set. In the next game, the man from South of France found an opening and had set point at 40-30.
However, he hit a forehand into the net, but would have another chance at closing out the set with another point at advantage. Gasquet had to work hard and he did manage to save another crucial point, this time going on to hold for 5-5. Pouille held to love as the set neared its conclusion. Pouille raced away to a 40-0 lead and had his third set point. This time, he broke and clinched the set 7-5.
Pouille races away to victory to cause upset
Going into the decider, the momentum was fully with Pouille. In just the second game of the set, two break points were on offer. Despite Gasquet saving both from 15-40 down, Pouille conjured another at advantage and punished the French number one. He consolidated for 3-0 and in the next game, Gasquet got on the board in the set with a love game.
In the sixth game of the set, Gasquet struggled against the big hitter and Pouille had triple break point. Though he didn't convert at the first time of asking, Pouille did harm Gasquet and went up a double break. In the end, Pouille served it out at the first time of asking, causing the upset against his compatriot.
Lucas Pouille served six aces and two double faults, with Gasquet hitting six aces and only one double fault. Both won 71 percent of first serves, while Pouille had much greater second serve, winning 61 percent, while Gasquet had only 51 percent. The 22-year old saved 67 percent of breaks he faced and Gasquet saved 75 percent. Pouille won 53 percent points with Gasquet winning 47.