This time he got away with it. Beaten from the start last week in Cologne by Radu Albot in straight sets, Pierre-Hugues Herbert this time had the last word on the same stage. The Alsatian, down to 82nd place in the world, offered a good performance against Tennys Sandgren, 48th at ATP, whom he beat in three sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-3) and 2:16 am Tuesday. Things should get tough for his 2nd round where he should logically find Jannik Sinner, particularly successful indoors. The young Italian will have to get rid of the Australian “lucky loser” James Duckworth beforehand.
Herbert has been riding the positive spiral he has been going through for a few days. Winner in doubles on Sunday with Nicolas Mahut of the first tournament in Cologne (their first title this season), the French did well in singles because, before playing this first round on Tuesday, he was out of qualifying. In two matches, he had also left only 7 games to his opponents Rudolf Molleker and Summit Nagal. Against Tennys Sandgren, the battle was obviously much closer, but he was able to be the most enterprising in the final set.
However not helped by a first ball at half mast (52% and a percentage in constant fall between the 1st and the 3rd acts), Herbert took the net as soon as he had the opportunity. If he experienced a real slack from the 5th game of the second set, he was still the most solid in the rally. In particular, he took the upper hand in the backhand diagonal, which deeply annoyed an American a little clumsy. If he wants to continue the adventure, the Alsatian will nevertheless have to increase his quality of service, a predominant weapon in the room.