Monday morning, waking up, Hugo Grenier still did not know if he was going to enter the big picture of this US Open 2022. Eliminated in the last qualifying round on Friday, the Frenchman was then at the top of the draft list and knew that Pablo Andujar, hit in the arm, had a good chance of forfeiting. But, arriving at the tournament site for training at 10 a.m., he was not yet sure of playing.
The Spaniard finally confirmed the good news to him. “I had planned to warm up just in case and Pablo saw me in the locker room. He said to me: “Come here”, to talk to me. He was the one who told me. I was very happy. Until it was official, I was a little scared.explained the Frenchman, his face reddened by the sun, after his victory in four sets against Tomas Etcheverry.
Hugo Grenier, 26 years old. (P. Lahalle/The Team)
Because Grenier, like at Wimbledon a month ago when he was also lucky-loser before winning his first round, seized the opportunity. Facing the 86th in the world, who was also playing his first match in the big picture in New York, he managed to sign the second Grand Slam victory of his career.
Less and less unnatural
His start to the match was however complicated after this wait of several days, but the Frenchman woke up in time not to miss his chance. “In the second, third and beginning of the fourth, he plays perfectly, eeven spurred on Gérard Solvès, who stalked him at Jean-René Lisnard’s academy in Cannes. He happens to be very offensive. He can’t bear to miss, so attempting attacks is not his nature and that was the key, he had to take time away from his opponent, the other must not have the time to play. »
Well-adjusted services, setbacks along the line and controlled volleys (23/26 in the exercise), the Frenchman played the tennis he must put in place to continue to climb in the hierarchy. His trainer has been convinced of this for a long time. He is more and more. “Lately, I’ve played a lot of matches which showed me that it was the right recipe, he admitted after his success. I have a rather defensive nature despite my size (1.96m). It drives me crazy to make mistakes. Even today I hate it and before it was even harder because I got frustrated every time. So I had a little trouble going forward. But I think I have to focus on that for the next few months and in the future. »
His results lately (Challenger in Segovia and therefore two first Grand Slam victories), like his ranking (119th this week, his best rank), also speak in favor of this change. “It’s a tennis that can allow him to beat a lot of players, Iuge his trainer. When he serves very well, returns and manages to play quickly, he can disturb a lot. »
The next one to come will be a very big chunk as he faces Italian Matteo Berrettini in the second round. A great meeting to gauge each other but the idea is also to take advantage of it and have fun.