Benneteau/Gasquet Win Olympic Doubles Bronze Medal
by James Buddell|
Benneteau, who considered winning the bronze medal the greatest achievement of his career, said, "It means a lot. I just said to Richard that, at the moment, I don't believe it. We have the medal; we have it for life, so it's something special.
"For me this is a very huge thing to have [won] an Olympic medal. It's amazing. For France, it is a good day today."
Gasquet added, "It's incredible. We have the medal for all of our life. It's crazy for us. We did it so it's incredible, but we don't believe it now."
Benneteau and Gasquet won 46 of their 60 service points, hitting four aces. Ferrer and Lopez, who could not convert their two break point opportunities in the first set, hit four double faults and committed 14 unforced errors.
At the start of the first set tie-break, there had been no breaks of serve, although opportunities came and went for both teams. Benneteau and Gasquet opened up a 5-2 lead in the tie-break, before Benneteau created three set point opportunities at 6-3 with a serve into Lopez’s body.
Gasquet clinched the 46-minute set with a backhand pass down the line – the 16th winner for the French duo. Gasquet ran to the net, fist-pumping in celebration. Ferrer and Lopez had committed 10 unforced errors in the set.
Aggressive hitting by Gasquet and Benneteau led to three break point chances on Ferrer’s serve at 1-1 in the second set. Ferrer saved two with well-placed deliveries, but at 30/40 he hit a second serve to Gasquet’s backhand. The return was dispatched for a winner down the line.
A few minutes later, Lopez dug himself out of a hole. He bounced back from 15/40 to deuce, but Benneteau and Gasquet were able to take a 4-1 lead. Three games later, Benneteau calmly held serve to love to win the bronze medal.
"They played better than Feliciano and I," said Ferrer. "It was a big week, but finally we don't have a medal so it's a difficult moment."