It did not go far for Benjamin Bonzi at the Lyon tournament.
Benjamin Bonzi did not go far from the feat against Karen Khachanov. Twenty-four hours after learning that he was one of the lucky beneficiaries of an invitation to Roland-Garros and would therefore not have to go through qualifying in Paris to try to climb into the main draw, the Toulouse player pushed the Russian, 26th in the standings, in its last entrenchments (defeat 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 after 2:21 of play). Bonzi lost in the third and final set the decisive game that should not be lost (7-4), but, as against David Goffin at the start of the season in Montpellier, he has nothing to be ashamed of. With the exception of the first set, clearly dominated by Khachanov against the 115th in the world but second French player in the Race currently behind Jérémy Chardy and winner of two Challenger tournaments this year (Potchefstroom and Ostrava), Lionel Zimbler’s protege gave the thread to twist the Russian for two rounds. Unrecognizable in the second, he took by the throat the hero of the Bercy tournament in 2018, taken aback by the awakening of the young Tricolor who goes up (he is 24 years old) and logically joins the score. Even if Khachanov obtained three match points at 5-4, all discarded by Bonzi, the two players were then unable to decide before this tie-break that the one who dreams of spending three rounds at Porte d’Auteuil, where he never did better than second round, yet had started better (Bonzi led 2-0 then 3-1 before the Russian reversed the situation). With his start to the match completely missed, it is about the only thing that the slayer of Lucas Pouille in the Hérault last February can be ashamed. And of the leaders of the circuit, “La Bonz” should very quickly bring down.