5 au 10 mars 2024
07 Mar 2024

GICQUEL and DELRUE put on the show!

In the round of 16, Thom GICQUEL and Delphine DELRUE (n°13, France) won in two sets against Hong Kong pair TANG Chun Man/TSE Ying Suet (n°8). Spurred on by a crowd in meltdown, the French are back in the quarterfinals at home after their great run in 2022.

Following an astonishing first-round for the French pair, the round of 16 promises to be exciting against TANG and TSE, last week's finalists at the German Open. Two meetings between the 4 protagonists in 2023 and a win for each side, the public is out in force to tip the balance in favor of the French. The blue-white-and-red stands singing the names of their champions "Thom and Delphine" to the beat of the drums. A great show off the court, perfectly aligned with a highly intensive start of the match, with the French taking a narrow lead at the break (11/10). Between challenges, nets, and a few misses, the match hung by a thread and the atmosphere grew tenser as the match progressed... only to let the adidas arena explode when Thom GICQUEL's winning return awarded the 1st set to the French pair. 

Following this great start, they were less precise at the start of the second set and let a few avoidable points slip away. Thankfully, TANG and TSE stepped into the breach to take the lead and put the pressure on Thom, Delphine and all the spectators presents. The former world n°5 seemed impervious to this pressure and managed to make up most of their deficit at the break, thanks to the return of their well-rounded offensives (9/11). Patient, they found the right areas and took control of the match at 16/15, offering a visit to the court to a Hong Kong pair who could have done without it. TANG and TSE cut the rhythm with a medical time-out that looked like a strategic break, but it took more than that to distract a French pair on a mission. Thom and Delphine triumphed in the general euphoria and confirmed their comeback (21/15 21/19). 

Delphine DELRUE: "We got off to a pretty good start. It was pretty even at the start, but we were well into the game. The more we got into it, the more the crowd got behind us. That helped us stay focused and keep up the pace (...) They used all kinds of tricks to break our rhythm, but we managed to stay focused, which was cool."

Thom GICQUEL: "The difference was made because we tried to keep the attack going. In the 2nd set, we were hitting too much, and they don’t like to move too much and to have the racket high up to counter. We gave away too many volleys like that and we didn't extend the court enough, but we knew how to do it in the 2nd game and the crowd's energy helped us a lot. It must have stressed them out a bit." 

In the quarterfinals, Thom and Delphine will face the reigning world champion korean pair SEO Seung Jae/CHAE Yu Jung (n°3). 

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