Bonzi Beats Gasquet At Open Blot Rennes

Benjamin Bonzi (photo: Nicolas Averty)

RENNES/STARNBERG, September 15, 2023

Benjamin Bonzi headlined Friday’s quarterfinal action at the Open Blot Rennes,by knocking out top seed Richard Gasquet. In an-all-French encounter, the No. 8 seed of the €118,000 hard-court tournament emerged victorious 7-6(5), 6-0.

In front of packed stands inside the Le Liberté Arena in Rennes, Bonzi struck seven aces and won 84 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in one hour and 13 minutes.

“I’ve had no pain for a few weeks now, and I’ve been able to string together matches,” said Bonzi. “I feel really good here. The atmosphere is always so cool. It’s a tournament I’ve always enjoyed playing, and I have great memories from two years ago.'”

Bonzi, champion of the 2021 tournament in the east of Brittany, will next take on qualifier Matteo Martineau of France, who benefited from the retirement of his compatriot Lucas Pouille. The 29-year-old was forced to stop playing at 2-2 in the first set due to an abdominal injury.

In the bottom half of the draw. No. 2 seed Gregoire Barrere defeated sixth favourite Radu Albot from Moldova 6-2, 6-2. The World No. 62 from France didn’t face a break point and converted four of his own five break-point chances to advance in one hour and one minute.

“I know he doesn’t like my style of play,” Barrere said. “I came in with confidence, I knew what I needed to do. There’s a great atmosphere here; I enjoy playing in Brittany and indoors, so it’s perfect. Today, the stands were almost full, and that gives you extra energy.”

Up next for Barrere will be Maxime Cressy. The 126th-ranked US-American edged past last week’s Cassis Open Challenger champion Mattia Bellucci of Italy 7-6(2), 7-5. The encounter lasted one hour and 39 minutes.