Quentin Halys, saving three match points, and Grégoire Barrère, making a strong impression, won their first victory against a Top 20 player to reach the 3rd round in Miami, also joined by Adrian Mannarino, Saturday March 25.
It was after 3:18 of a very big showdown that Halys had the last word against the Australian Alex De Minaur (18th in the world), winning 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (10/8). “I hope it will give me a little mental click and prove to me that I can beat good players. Especially after a match like this where it was very intense, there were a lot of turnarounds“, reacted to L’Equipe, the 79th player in the world, happy to reach this stage for the first time in a Masters 1000, a category just below the Grand Slams.
“It was hard physically and mentally in difficult conditions with the wind changing. Hard because you have to be present all the time, he is a player who gives very few points and makes very few mistakes. But I managed to stay in it and it was cool“, added the 26-year-old.
First for Halys
Faced with De Minaur, titled in Acapulco at the beginning of the month, the Frenchman was led each time by a break in the first two rounds, before returning to level. And if he finally gave up the first in the decisive game, he managed to equalize in the next, saving the first match point at 5-4 against him. Halys was able to rely on his efficient service (21 aces) to stay in the game, even if it also betrayed him a little too often (10 double faults). The same observation between the aggressiveness / precision ratio could be drawn up in the exchanges, since his winning shots (57 against 33) like his unforced errors (45 against 24) were far superior to those of the Australian.
Figures that underline his constant desire to take the initiative. What ended up paying in the ultimate tie-break, during which his rival wasted two new match points and smashed a racket in frustration. In the next round, Halys will be opposed to the American Mackenzie McDonald (55th), who dismissed 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (7/5) the Italian Matteo Berrettini (23rd).
In the evening, Grégoire Barrère (65th) made a very strong impression, sweeping 6-3, 6-2 Cameron Norrie (12th) in just over an hour. This opponent is doing quite well for him, since he had also beaten him in the 1st round of the US Open in 2019, when the Briton was sailing beyond 60 place, to now lead 2-1 in their confrontations. Very aggressive and skilful (21 winning shots against 6), he never left his rival the possibility of entering the match. Aged 29, Barrère will have his chance in the next round against the American Christopher Eubanks (119th), from qualifying.
Adrian Mannarino (62nd) also continued on his way, taking the best 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 over Ben Shelton (39th), hope of American tennis yet pushed by the public. Not hesitating to go up on the fly, with success (21 points scored in 31 attempts), the 34-year-old Frenchman did not tremble when his young opponent, who gave him 14, equalized at one set everywhere. With experience, he redoubled his aggressiveness in the last set, to leave him no chance. Mannarino will then face the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (9th), winner of the event in 2021 and semi-finalist last year.
Earlier, Richard Gasquet (40th), injured in an ankle, had been forced to forfeit his second round match against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd).