The 20-year-old French player pushed US Open champion and two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem to five sets in the fourth round, and defeated Stan Wawrinka in the previous round. He left the court to cheers from the limited but energetic crowd that had applauded him throughout the encounter.

“I’m disappointed, but very proud, also,” Gaston told press in French. “I want to also say thanks to the crowd, who pushed me a lot.

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“I’m happy with the level of my game.”

Gaston joins 19-year-old Jannik Sinner and 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti as young players who have created waves at their home events during the clay season, with both Italians making strong runs in Rome two weeks ago. Sinner is set to face defending champion Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros quarterfinals.


But Gaston has a very different game than Sinner and Musetti, one built around touch and speed, as he showed by hitting dozens of drop shots and frequent lobs against Thiem.

“His creativity is part of his game, he has always played like that,” his coach, Marc Barbier, was quoted by L’Equipe as telling French press. “But the creativity, it must be there to help the performance.”

During his on-court interview, Thiem commented that Gaston’s drop shots “were from another planet,” and complimented his opponent’s play.

“Coming from him, it’s really nice,” said Gaston, adding that Thiem had also told him to “keep working and I would be fine.”

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