Impossible is not French. Wednesday, at Wimbledon, Ugo Humbert and Caroline Garcia thwarted the odds by each beating their opponent in matches that were nevertheless very unbalanced on paper. Ugo Humbert, 112th player in the world, offered himself the finalist of the last Roland-Garros, the Norwegian Casper Ruud (6th in the world), 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, becoming the first Frenchman qualified for the 3rd round at Wimbledon. Caroline Garcia, 55th in the world, beat Briton Emma Raducanu, 11th and winner of the last US Open, 6-3, 6-3, thus offering her ticket to the third round.
Humbert will face for a place in the round of 16 the Belgian David Goffin (58th) who easily defeated the Argentinian Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Faced with a player who was uncomfortable on the grass, the French left-hander was able to tighten the game after a difficult first set, marked by numerous unforced errors, to clinch this prestigious victory.
“He doesn’t have a lot of benchmarks on the grass and I know my game could annoy him. Especially since I was leading 2-1 in our previous confrontations, “recalled the player who lost in the first round in London last year, after a Homeric battle against Australian Nick Kyrgios, in 5 innings. “He has improved a lot in the last few months and beaten the best. He proved it at Roland-Garros. But today, I found that he didn’t have the same grinta as usual, “he also said at a press conference.
For her part, Caroline Garcia will face in the next round the Chinese Shuai Zhang (41st) who, apart from a quarter-final in 2019, had never passed the first round at Wimbledon. Garcia won the 8th title of his career last week in Bad Homburg and therefore lined up a seventh victory in a row on Wednesday, which had not happened to him since the 2019 grass season. “You have to stay humble, tennis is a perpetual restart, “said the Lyonnaise who had not won a match at Wimbledon since her round of 16 in 2017.
Another Frenchman, another fortune. Despite a good resistance, Quentin Halys was taken out in the second round of Wimbledon by the number 22 seed, the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, 7-6 (9-7), 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7 -5). Despite 23 aces and 3 breaks made – all in the second set – against only one for his opponent, Halys, who had taken out Benoît Paire in the previous round, negotiated the important points less well.
While often pushing the Georgian back to his last limits, he did not create a set point during the almost 2:30 hours that the match lasted. What give him regrets and remind him of his defeat in the first round of Roland-Garros in four sets, including three lost in the tie-break, against the American John Isner.