HAMBURG, September 17, 2022 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
France defeated Belgium 2-1 in Saturday’s tie between two eliminated nations in Group C of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 in Hamburg.
Gasquet with solid win
Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet met Michael Geerts from Belgium in the singles rubber of the No. 2 players. The 36-year-old Frenchman gained the only three breaks in the encounter and won 93 per cent of his first-service points to claim a 6-3, 6-3 victory in 73 minutes.
Asked about playing a match in the situation with being out of the competition already, responded 79-th ranked Gasqeut: “We always have to be professional. It’s not the first time for me because sometimes I played on a Davis Cup Sunday when the tie is decided, so I get used to it and it’s not a big problem for me. The two wins here give me confidence to play well for the rest of the season.”
“I knew that Richard has a lot of experience,” said Geerts. “He was the better player with more consistence and variation in his game. It is never easy to compete as a reserve player, but it was a great experience to go on court in the Davis Cup Finals”.
Goffin levels the tie
In the match of the top players, French Benjamin Bonzi was seeking his first win at his third group stage appearance in Hamburg against veteran David Goffin. The 26-year-old earned the first break in the match, but the former World No. 7 from Belgium won four consecutive games and served the set out. Roucourt-born Goffin broke his opponent in the third game of the second set and served for the match at the score of 5-4. But Bonzi, ranked World No. 53, fought back by winning three games in a row to push the match the distance. In the deciding set, thirty-one-year-old Goffin gained two breaks more to prevail 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 after two hours and 18 minutes.
“I am very happy about my match. It was very high level from my side I and I felt always being on top of him the whole match. It is never easy to close out a match and with two more good service games I would have gone through in straight sets,” Goffin said after the match.
French doubles players prevail in deciding rubber
Following their two losses in the previous deciding matches, Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech fought past Sandor Gille and Joran Vliegen. The French duo gained the only break of the match in the opening set and finished in the tiebreak of set two for a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory in 87 minutes.
✨Marvellous Mahut and Rapid Rinderknech ✨
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) September 17, 2022
“It was a tough week with two close losses in the beginning where only few points made the difference,” French team captain Sebastian Grosjean summarized the week in Hamburg. “But we had the chance to finish on positive mood and the guys gave everything on court in singles and doubles, so I am very proud of my team.”
Group-stage action in Hamburg will conclude Sunday by with the tie between the unbeaten teams of Germany and Australia. Play in Hamburg at Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium will start at 2 p.m. CET.
France – Belgium 2-1
Richard Gasquet (FRA) – Michael Geerts (BEL) 6-3, 6-3
Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) – David Goffin (BEL) 3-6, 7-5, 3-6
Nicolas Mahut/Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) – Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen 6-3, 7-6 (6)