French Open: Lucas Pouille eases past Thomaz Bellucci to progress to the third round

After a tough first set, Pouille ran away with the next two sets as he booked a place in the third round.

French Open: Lucas Pouille eases past Thomaz Bellucci to progress to the third round
Lucas Pouille celebrates getting passed Thomaz Bellucci (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille
3 0
Thomaz Bellucci

Court Philippe Chatrier saw local Frenchman Lucas Pouille defeat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-2 to book a place in the third round at Roland Garros

Pouille goes up a set via tiebreaker

Serving first, Bellucci was immediately being put under pressure and immediately fell behind a breakpoint, 30-40. However, Pouille netted and from then on in, it was straight forward as Bellucci held to begin the contest. The Brazilian hit a sweet backhand return winner to bring up a break point chance in the next time.

Following a poor game, the 16th seed sent a forehand long with Bellucci breaking. Pouille did have the chance to break immediately back but had a break point saved with the 29-year-old consolidating for the perfect start, 0-3. The Frenchman got on the board in the next game with a comfortable service game, 1-3.

Lucas Pouille plays a forehand shot (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille plays a forehand shot (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The Frenchman continued to struggle in the set piling on the unforced errors but was still plugging away staying the break behind with Bellucci frustrating the Frenchman until the ninth game with the score at 4-5. The Brazilian played an error-filled game which allowed Pouille a chance back in the match with a break point opportunity going his way at 15-40.

Behind in the rally, the 23-year-old pulled out the dropshot which did the job as he broke back before consolidating to take the lead for the first time at 6-5. Serving to stay in the set, Pouille missed three set points as Bellucci sent the opener to a tiebreaker. The breaker was won by Pouille 7-5 to win the set. 

Pouille races away to a comfortable two-set lead 

Serving first in the second, Pouille was taken to deuce by the Brazilian but managed to come away unscathed to get on the board. Bellucci also held his serve to draw level for 1-1. The opening three games went with serve as Pouille held to 30 with Bellucci failing to take his chances at 15-30. Up 30-love in the fourth game, the world number 61 took a love-30 lead only to be pegged back to 30-all then to deuce.

Having missed a chance to hold serve, Pouille sensed his opportunity and forced his opponent to play a shot directly into the net as he earned a break point. A solid return from beyond the baseline saw the Brazilian hit into the net once more as the Frenchman broke and then hold serve the very next game to grab momentum for a 4-1 lead.

Lucas Pouille strikes a backhand shot during his second round match (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille strikes a backhand shot during his second round match (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The Brazilian then had the trainer out to work on his thighs that seemed to be causing him problems. Following on from that, the world number 17 maintained his high quality of play, bringing up further double break points adding insult to injury. The Frenchman only needed the one chance to break as he took full control of the match at 5-1.

Serving for the set, Pouille had two set points saved by the 29-year-old who then found energy and mini-motivation to bring up a break point. The 23-year-old would deny Bellucci then miss a third set point just a few points later. Finally, he put the set to be, 6-1 with an excellent unreturnable first serve. 

Pouille races through to the third round

The local Frenchman had an encouraging start to the third set, winning four points on the bounce to bring up breakpoints straight away. Pouille broke to love and then to love on serve to stamp his authority on the set, 2-0. Things went from bad to worse for the Brazilian who couldn't handle Pouille's solid defensive skills in the fourth game as he raced away to a 15-40 lead, earning double breakpoints.

Pouille took control of the game, attacking from the off, running around to his forehand and breaking for the second time to a 3-0 lead. Bellucci did show some fight and broke back in the fourth game but Pouille broke straight back to lead 4-1, regaining his double break lead after missing his first two break point chances in the game.

Lucas Pouille stretches for a forehand shot (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille stretches for a forehand shot (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Keeping his unforced errors to a minimum, Pouille consolidating in the sixth game to go a game from the third round. The 29-year-old would hold serve in the seventh game to win only his second of the set as exit loomed. All square at 30-all, the 23-year-old went down the T and hit an unreturnable serve to bring up a match point up 30-40.

Bellucci denied the Frenchman forcing the error to send the game to deuce. However, Pouille grabbed a second match point. The 17th seed finished off the contest with an ace to advance. 

Tennis