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Tennis: blue sky over Indian Wells before the arrival of the big names in the second round

The seven French people who finished their match on Thursday emerged victorious, before the rain interrupted the rest of the program at the end of the afternoon, like the day before.

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Tennis: blue sky over Indian Wells before the arrival of the big names in the second round

The seven French people who finished their match on Thursday emerged victorious, before the rain interrupted the rest of the program at the end of the afternoon, like the day before. The experienced Gaël Monfils (37 years old) showed the way with an expeditious success against the Australian Max Purcell (6-1, 6-2). In legs, unlike his opponent, Monfils showed himself diligently to complete the task in 1h10. “I felt good, I served well. I had my game plan in mind, to impose rallies with violence in the strikes, I did it well. I moved well, I had a good match. It's been a few weeks since I found good movement, it allows me to gain confidence in other things. It allows me to be a little more daring on the forehand and backhand. Moving well is the basis of my game,” commented the one who will meet the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (8th in the world) on Saturday.

Out of qualifying, Lucas Pouille (30), resumed his match interrupted on Wednesday against the German Daniel Altmaier, dismissed in two sets (6-4, 6-3). “I made the mistakes and the points, but I was very solid in the important moments. At one point, the wind picked up, I managed to be a little more patient, to make it play. I was pretty realistic and pretty good in all areas so I'm happy. It’s in line with previous matches,” he explained before meeting up with Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (11th) on Friday.

Constant Lestienne (31), also after a match interrupted on Wednesday, fought to dominate the American Denis Kudla (3-6, 6-2, 6-4), and will face the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime (31st). The French succession was just as successful as the elders, notably Diane Parry (21 years old) who got rid of the Italian Martina Trevisan (7-5, 6-3).

Océane Dodin (27 years old) defeated the Russian Elina Avanesyan (1-6, 6-3, 7-6) after a great scare at the end of the game, when she spoiled a service game at 6-5, obtaining three match points, before letting go of the game on three double faults in a row. “Scared, I completely tensed up, a post, my arms paralyzed, it was no longer possible to make a move. Losing this game and moving on did me good,” she analyzed. Clara Burel (22 years old) beat the Chinese Wang Xiyu (4-6, 6-2, 6-4), who remained in a final at the WTA 250 in Austin last week. The young Frenchwoman, who reached the third round of the Australian Open in January, is offered the challenge of facing American world No.3 Coco Gauff in the second round on Saturday.

Things are indeed going to get tough for the blue colony. At Indian Wells, all the winners of the first round are guaranteed to meet a seeded player in the second match, with the 32 best women and 32 best men being exempt from the first matches. “Playing a seed doesn't change much unless it's Alcaraz, Sinner for example. It’s even better to have played a match before, I played an hour and a half, you get used to the conditions, you gain confidence,” said Arthur Fils (19), tormentor of the Portuguese Nuno Borges (7 -5, 6-1), who will face the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (23rd) on Saturday, whom he has beaten only once in three confrontations.

The Blues also see the arrival in the tables in the second round of their best cards, namely Ugo Humbert (14th), victorious at the ATP 500 in Dubai last week, Adrian Mannarino (21st) and Caroline Garcia (20th). The eternal American Venus Williams was beaten at 43 by the Japanese Nao Hibino (2-6, 6-3, 6-0) for her first match since the US Open. She received a standing ovation for court N.1 after the match.

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