This fifth day of competition smiles on the Tricolores. After Clara Burel’s victory against the world number 5 in the women’s draw, Arthur Cazaux also scored a top 10 on Thursday January 18. The young Frenchman (21 years old), 122nd in the ATP rankings and beneficiary of an invitation to the Australian Open, achieved the feat of beating the Dane Holger Rune, seeded number 8, in four sets (7- 6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3) and 3:22 of play.

In a contested first round – the two players did not concede a single break point – the Montpellier player made the difference in the deciding game. With confidence, he then took the Dane’s serve from the start and won the second set. In the third round, the world number eight was more solid in the important points, while the Frenchman made more direct errors (10). The fourth set turned to Cazaux’s advantage, solid on first ball (18 aces over the entire match) and resistant to long rallies.

“It was a crazy match, a big fight against a player that I have known for a very long time,” explained the Frenchman on court, after the match, during a refreshing interview. I gave everything I had. Tennis is a spectacle and this was a beautiful spectacle! I’m super happy, the atmosphere was crazy. »

An old acquaintance

It was not the first time that the two adversaries of the day had faced each other. Their last confrontation ended in a victory for the Dane, in 2019, in the second round of Roland Garros junior (6-4, 6-3). Among the youth, Arthur Cazaux often took the advantage over Holger Rune, winning five of their six clashes.

But the two players experienced reverse trajectories. Cazaux racked up injuries as Rune climbed the world rankings to No. 4 in the ATP rankings in August 2023. Before the match, Arthur Cazaux had only won two matches on the main circuit. Holger Rune reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2023 and won at Paris-Bercy in 2022.

Despite these initially unsuccessful careers, it was the Frenchman’s tennis that won this Thursday, January 18. A new feat on the part of the Habs in this 2024 Australian Open. In the first round, he defeated the Serbian Laslo Djere, world number 33, in five sets and 3 hours 26 minutes of play. In the next round, the Montpellier will challenge Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, 31st in the world, who eliminated Frenchman Arthur Fils earlier in the day (6-3, 1-6, 5-7, 4-6).