Two weeks afer winning Puerto Vallarta Challenger in Mexico, Benoît Paire is back on ATP Challenger Tour after a brief stay in Masters 1 000 of Miami. The player ranked 170th, who comes to Lille to gain ATP points with the target of entering into Roland-Garros main draw, starts his tournament single this Wednesday against Belgium Raphaël Collignon (ranked 251st). Native born in Avignon took the temperature of the stadium in Lille, this Tuesday, during his double match with Harold Mayot. Even the two French players lost against specialists Arneodo/Weissborn (2-6, 3-6), they performed the show in front of one thousand people !
A bit earlier in the day, Harold Mayot easily upset Israelian Edan Leshem (ranked 334th) to join second round. He was imitated by Maxime Janvier (ranked 346th), who has to deliver a tough battle against Australian Omar Jasika (ranked 250th), 7-5, 0-6, 6-2.
Max Purcell in the pain
Top seed of the tournament, Max Purcell (ranked 99th) had to fight during more than 2 hours and a half to overcome Kazakh Beibit Zhukayev (ranked 343rd), in three sets: 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. Slovakian Norbert Gombos (ranked 133rd), and third seed, was less successful against Belgium Michael Geerts, defeated 4-6, 3-6. It is also keep going on for Finnish Otto Virtanen (ranked 139th) againsnt Bulgarian Dimitar Kuzmanov (ranked 198th), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Tuesday was highlighted by the withdraw of Pierre-Hugues Herbert, due to adbominal pains. Turkish Cem Ilkel (ranked 231st), lucky loser, took profit from the occasion to stun Belgium Gauthier Onclin (ranked 224th), 6-3, 6-2.
A lot of other French players will be on the court this Wednesday: Antoine Hoang (ranked 354th) will be faced to his compatriot Dan Added (ranked 283rd), Kenny De Schepper (ranked 348th) against Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin (ranked 275e) and Hugo Grenier (ranked 146th) opposed to yound rising Canadian star, who was trained to the academy of Félix Auger-Aliassime’s father : Gabriel Diallo (ranked 212th).