Richard Gasquet made it seven French players into the third round of the French Open on Friday stirring hopes of a home title challenge.
The former Wimbledon semi-finalist and world top tenner finally saw off the challenge of Argentine claycourter Carlos Berlocq 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 after the match had been suspended overnight at two sets all.
His reward is a third round tie against South African Kevin Anderson.
Also through to the third round in the top half of the draw is Jeremy Chardy, who takes on Belgium’s David Goffin on Saturday, while five other French hopes were in action in the bottom half of the draw on Friday.
First up is an all-French encounter between national number one and 12th seed Gilles Simon and a player better-known for his grasscourt game, Nicolas Mahut.
After that, on the Court Suzanne Lenglen, was the match between 13th seed Gael Monfils and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas with Roger Federer the likely opponent for the winner in the last 16.
Monfils defeated Federer in straight sets on clay in the Davis Cup final in Lille last November.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2013, was scheduled last on the Philippe Chatrier Centre Court taking on Spain’s Pablo Andujar.
Finally Benoit Paire has a tough task going up against fourth seed Tomas Berdych
The last home winner of the men’s singles at the French Open, and of any Grand Slam tournament, was Yannick Noah in 1983 with Henri Leconte the last to reach the final in 1988 where he lost to Mats Wilander.