Cold spell for the French team in Hungary. Yet favorites on paper, Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech lost to the pair Mate Valkusz and Fabian Marozsan (6-2, 7-6 ). After Ugo Humbert’s victory and Benjamin Bonzi’s defeat on Friday, France is trailing 2-1 and no longer has room for error in the two singles to come.
On the double, Sébastien Grosjean may regret that his players did not know how to influence the meeting before the second set. Because once Nicolas Mahut had found his rhythm, there was a match. But in the first set, the Hungarian pair shone all the more as the French were not there. It must be said that Morozsan was on fire and missed nothing. Impeccable at net to hit all areas and block all angles, he combined looseness and success. At his side, Valkuzs was solid and the Blues paled in comparison.
But, as we said, Mahut knew how to force himself to get back into the game. Rinderknech never let go and the veteran was able to weigh on the meeting. At the start of the second set, an imbroglio heated the spirits. A ball judged doubled (in fact not) gave a point to the French and triggered incomprehension and anger among the Hungarians. The two captains then entered into a heated discussion, but nothing changed. On the other hand, the players came out of it even more motivated, calling on the public and saving a break point to equalize at 3-3. Even if the Blues were not serene about their commitments, they held on until the tie-break. In this decisive game, Valkusz cracked Rinderknech in the exchange for the first mini-break (5-4). Behind, the Hungarians completed the match without shaking.
The Blues must now win the two singles to qualify. From 2:10 p.m., Adrian Mannarino – who replaces Benjamin Bonzi – will challenge Marton Fucsovics. If the Frenchman emerges victorious, Ugo Humbert will try to qualify his team against Zsombor Piros. The matches are to be followed live this afternoon on L’Équipe live.