Frenchmen struggle in Dubai


Dubai – Benoit Paire's racquet disintegrated in the second game against Borna Coric at the Dubai Championships on Wednesday but it wasn't the only thing to fall apart as he lost in 63 minutes.

Paire served seven double-faults and dropped serve five times as he lost to his Croatian opponent 6-1, 6-4.

On a bad afternoon for the French, Pierre-Hugues Herbert fell to Spanish third seed Roberto Bautista, 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-1.

Bautista and Coric will meet in the quarter-finals on Thursday at the Aviation Club.

Bautista needed almost two and a half hours to advance as Herbert forced a third set tiebreaker.

"I had to fight so hard, it was tough to feel good on the court today," said Bautista, a Spaniard ranked number 23 in the world. "We had a lot of wind, it was not easy to play.

"I had a lot of chances to break him in the second set. But he started to play very aggressive with the second serve.

"The wind today made it tougher, make it more difficult. Today it was not easy to play brilliant, but I tried to play solid, tried to play long points against him."

A third Frenchman, Lucas Pouille, was struggling to be fit to play later on Wednesday against the man who beat him in the Marseille final on Sunday, Karen Khachanov.

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