ATP Estoril: Paul-Henri Mathieu outlasts local player Gastão Elias
Gastão Elias serving in the second set (Pedro Cunha/VAVEL)

The second match of the day on Court Millennium at the Millennium Estoril Open opposed the experienced Frenchman, Paul-Henri Mathieu and local player Gastão Elias

Paul-Henri Mathieu serving. (Pedro Cunha/VAVEL)
Paul-Henri Mathieu serving. (Pedro Cunha/VAVEL)

Almost an easy set for Paul-Henri Mathieu

Paul-Henri Mathieu started the match serving really well. The French started with an authoritative love hold and served very well during the whole match. Paul Henri-Mathieu took a 3-0 lead over the Portuguese at the beginning of the set, and the Portuguese was not winning so many points. In a few quick games, Mathieu managed to be serving for the set at 5-1, but the Portuguese didn't give up and broke his serve. After this break, Elias was finding his tennis and served at a very high level to force Mathieu to serve for the first set. The experienced player took the chance this time and grabbed the first set 6-3.

A very tight second set

The second set started with Elias to serve and he got broken right away. He started to get some damage on Paul-Henri Mathieu's serve but it was not enough as the Frenchman kept holding his serve after a few break points. Elias was not playing many deep balls and that was making the Frenchman's match much easier. When Mathieu was serving for 5-3, Gastão Elias broke his serve and leveled the match at 4-4. The Portuguese choked while serving for the 5-4 lead and got broken right back on a game where he had two game points. To close out the match, the world number 60 held is serve at love. The match ended 6-3, 6-4. The Frenchman now leads their head-to-head 4-0.

Post-match statements

Paul-Henri Mathieu said that it was great to win in two sets in the first round since it's never easy to play a player who is from the tournament;s host country. He was very confident because he won a Challenger last week so he was happy with the victory in two sets. He also said he noticed before the match on the newspaper that the President of Portugal was about to watch the match and that "it was an honor to play in front of him." About his next opponent (Gilles Simon) he said it will be a "tough match" and that "every match is difficult at this level."

Gastão Elias told the press on the conference room that his opponent "did not fail too much and started the match very well and very aggressive." "The lowest level I played at was when I broke his serve in the second set and when I served at four games all it was the only moment when I felt that the match was more controlled."

What's next?

Paul-Henri Mathieu will face his compatriot and first-seeded, Gilles Simon.

Gastão Elias is going to play doubles with João Sousa and when the tournament finishes, he will rest to get back in form.