Called at the last minute, Gilles Simon had done a good job. The captain-player of the Blues opened his own Wednesday against South Africa by dominating Lloyd Harris (2-6, 6-2, 6-2) after a slow start. An insufficient success, weighed down by the defeat of Benoît Paire in the second single against Kevin Anderson (saving one match point).
France can be considered the biggest disappointment of the competition. 'Gillou' was playing in his first match of the 2020 ATP Tour season after serving as captain during France's first two ATP Cup ties. But Gael Monfils withdrew from France's final tie pushing Paire, the country's No.
2 singles player, to the top spot and inserting Simon in the opening match. “It's a difficult night because we knew that we had a very, very good chance to qualify with a 3-0 win. We had bad news – Gael couldn't play today.
He tried as much as he could [in] practice to get ready. But he had too many problems,” Simon said. “Last moment, I decided to go on court. I was really happy to make it through because Lloyd was playing good tennis, and then we have this match with Benoit, which was completely crazy.
Benoit is so often in position to finish the match, and unfortunately he's not able to make it. And then I think it's a massive change in the whole tie”.