Rejuvenation to come on Saturday on the Suzanne-Lenglen court. Hugo Gaston, 21, will receive the replica of Holger Rune, 19. Not common for the Toulouse left-hander to face a player two years his junior, even if he already had this experience last fall at Bercy against Carlos Alcaraz. But if this duel promises to be special, it is also because the Dane is undoubtedly one of the players he is closest to on the circuit. These two appreciate each other. Thursday, after their qualification for the 16th finals where they will have an appointment, they competed in kindness. Without forcing a second, and using almost the same words. “He’s a good guy,” breathed Rune. “He’s a very nice guy off the pitch, a person I appreciate,” replied the Frenchman, before slipping into a smile: “He’s still a friend but on the pitch, he won’t be a friend. “Holger Rune vs Hugo Gaston.Credit: EurosportRoland-GarrosMission impossible for FAA and Schwartzman? “Overplaying to take a set, yes, but the match, no”8 HOURS AGO He is a player who plays very hard The rapprochement between the two kids dates from the last Next Gen Masters, in Milan, in November 2021. Each placed in a pool and eliminated from this group phase, Gaston and Rune had not crossed swords but they got to know each other in Lombardy. “Obviously, we were only eight players, so we were all quite close,” says Gaston. But it was especially for them. To the point of scheduling training sessions together as soon as they have had the opportunity since, and even a little more. “Since we got along very well, resumes the Habs, we both discussed to do the double in Marseille this year. In addition, we played well.” Indeed. In the Marseille city, in February, they reached the semi-finals, notably leaving the Herbert-Mahut pair in passing. Not naughty. This week, when they arrived at Roland-Garros, they trained together again in order to perfect their preparation for the tournament. On Saturday, on the court, however, it will be their very first confrontation in competition among professionals. And there, Gaston becomes serious again, as for any opponent: “Rune is a very good player who is still very young. We necessarily talk about him less than Alcaraz, but he is the same age as him. He is 35th or 30th today. He has a lot of victories this year. He has just won his first title. He is a player who plays very hard. So it will be a very complicated match but it will be a good time. Gaston takes you on board, you want to follow him all the time “The weight of the public, key to the match? Holger Rune, he expects to suffer “in real life” the malice of the Frenchman whom he knows well at the coaching. “In a way, Hugo is a funny player, he says. He varies enormously. I can’t wait to play him for the first time.” But his biggest fear is to face him here, in Paris: “He has already done great things, especially at Roland-Garros. It will be on a big court with probably a lot of people to support him. Mentally , I have to prepare for that, to be ready.” This will indeed be one of the probable keys to this third round. The Parisian public is becoming more active than ever. After two years in pandemic mode, and with the end of the Davis Cup in its historic formula, French spectators seem to be transferring their desire to vibrate “nationally” to their two biggest tournaments at home, Roland-Garros and Bercy. Hugo Gaston is not the last to have benefited from it. At the Accor Arena, seven months ago, Carlos Alcaraz had finally cracked against the Toulousain. For a very young player, it is sometimes complex to master. Or Rune is a little reminiscent of the Alcaraz last November. He is full of confidence and on the rise. But he also remains inexperienced, both at this level and in a potentially burning context. “I hope it will be a bit the same as against Alcaraz”, pleads the pupil of Marc Barbier. With the same outcome, above all.Hugo Gaston during his 1st round at Roland-GarrosCredit: Getty ImagesRoland-GarrosThe salute by the double: “I said to myself ‘the simple, I stop, I don’t want to be broke anymore'”IL 8 HOURS AGORoland-GarrosFederer, Nadal, Djokovic… Simon’s Top 10 victories8 HOURS AGO
Welcome! Log into your account
Recover your password
A password will be e-mailed to you.