Etcheverry had a match point, but lost an incredible final and is still a virgin of titles

Etcheverry had a match point, but lost an incredible final and is still a virgin of titles
Etcheverry had a match point, but lost an incredible final and is still a virgin of titles

Tomás Etcheverry (29th) He is going to have to continue waiting to be able to celebrate his first title. Once again he was so close that he couldn’t close the match. Despite having had a match point (opponent’s winning serve), he was noticed to be tense in the decisive moments and ended up falling to the 20-year-old Frenchman Giovanni Mpeteshi Perricard (117th) by 6-4, 1-6 and 7-6 (7) in 2h28m, within the framework of the ATP 250 final in Lyon.

The man from La Plata had a unique opportunity. Unlike the other two definitions lost in Santiago (vs. Jarry) and Houston 2023 (vs. Tiafoe), this time he started as the favorite. And it was not only a question of ranking, but also of level and experience. With more kilometers under our belt, it seemed like it was the day to break the famous Rubicon. To tear down the wall, paraphrasing Ángel Di María. However, there was something that did not allow him to let go of everything and he paid dearly for it.

Despite having started solidly from the back and taking the court at every opportunity that presented itself, he could not hold on to the lead in the opening set and went from 4-2 up to 6-4 down. To bother and generate break chances in each game contrary to giving up his serve that had been a clockwork. The forehand, at the beginning, was a missile and won the points in three or four balls and then began to need long rallies to move the board.

Anyway, Wally Grinovero’s pupil He was recovering from that unexpected blow. He came out in the second set with another vitality and, in addition, he found himself with a tense rival, who did not know what it was like to experience a definition at such a high level and in front of his audience. So, he took advantage of the situation, showed that he has two or three more gears, hit winners and pocketed every unforced error that came from the other side of the net. They were equal and everything was defined in the third.

But the music did not sound so harmonious. The panorama had darkened, because although they went game by game, it always seemed that the result began to depend on the opponent. In fact, Mpeteshi Perricard raised his percentages with the service (he nailed six of the 11 total aces; 71% of the first ones winning 68%) and had no complications, except when he had to serve for the match at 6-5. There, he got nervous, made mistakes unbecoming of his level (a volley three meters out of bounds) and returned the break to go to the tiebreak.

Etcheverry always ran from behind in the decisive jump-off. He couldn’t string together two points in a row or make the serve and the forehand weigh. In the power duel, to make matters worse, the clear winner was his rival. Even so, they went 6-5 up with match point. However, two consecutive winning serves and a good exchange played from the baseline gave him the victory and his first consecration to the 2003 category tennis player.

How is Etcheverry’s career continuing?

The Argentine must quickly leave Lyon to go to Paris, where he will face Roland Garros, where he defends 360 points from last year’s quarterfinals. His debut will be on Monday or Tuesday against Arthur Cazaux (77th).

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