“He started to lose his groove, and I stayed focused” – Hugo Gaston explains stunning turnaround to upset Alcaraz
The 103rd-ranked Frenchman will next meet world No 2 Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals
Frenchman Hugo Gaston said his opponent, 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, started to lose his rhythm after going up 5-0 in the second set while he tried to remain focused, which led him turn the momentum in his favour and win their third-round match at the Rolex Paris Masters in straight sets on Thursday.
Gaston came from 3-1 and 4-2 down to win the first set 6-4. Alcaraz produced some brilliant shot-making to go up 5-0 in the second set. But that’s when the Frenchman began a streak of seven successive games that helped him clinch the match 6-4, 7-5.
Later during his press conference, Gaston tried to explain how he was able to turn the match around.
“It was 5-0 for him in the second. I was drifting off at that point, and he started to have a let-down, as well. He made a lot of mistakes, because I managed to have fast balls, slow balls, to have high balls. He started to lose his groove, and I stayed focused. This is why I managed to overturn the match in my favour.”
Gaston was cheered loudly by the home crowd in the stadium and the 103rd-ranked Frenchman said he loved playing in front of the fans and used their energy to fuel himself for the win.
“It was incredible. Honestly, I have been playing tennis for this. It was really wonderful to live this match with them. I actually won because they supported me from beginning to the end even when I had a letdown during the first or the second set, they were always cheering me. It’s incredible to have such a great public.”
“It will only be a moment of genuine happiness” – Hugo Gaston on QF against Medvedev
The win sets up an intriguing quarter-final against world No 2 Daniil Medvedev on Friday in Paris, in what will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour. The Frenchman said he hopes to be ready for the evening session match against Medvedev, who is considered one of the best indoor hardcourt players in the game today and the man in-form.
“I will have a massage. I will sleep tight, and I will see how I organise myself,” he said. “I don’t know yet. I will try to sleep well, to eat well, to have a great warm-up during the afternoon to make sure that I’m ready for 7:30 tomorrow. I will be up and ready then. I know that it will be a great match against top-level players, so it will only be a moment of genuine happiness.”