Richard Gasquet

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Richard Gasquet
Richard Gasquet (18592105945).jpg
Country (sports) France
ResidenceNeuchâtel, Switzerland
Born (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 32)
Béziers, France
Height1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Turned pro2002 (amateur tour from 2001)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
CoachSergi Bruguera (Nov 2013 to Nov 2017)
Fabrice Santoro and Thierry Tulasne (2018-present)
Prize moneyUS$17,184,317
Official websiterichardgasquet.net
Singles
Career record521–302 (63.3%)
Career titles15
Highest rankingNo. 7 (9 July 2007)
Current rankingNo. 26 (5 November 2018)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open4R (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013)
French OpenQF (2016)
WimbledonSF (2007, 2015)
US OpenSF (2013)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (2007, 2013)
Olympic Games2R (2012)
Doubles
Career record72–58 (55.38%)
Career titles2
Highest rankingNo. 45 (7 April 2008)
Current ranking- (23 July 2018)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open1R (2006)
French Open1R (2002, 2003, 2005)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic GamesBronze medal.svg Bronze Medal (2012)
Mixed doubles
Career titles1
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenW (2004)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (2017)
Hopman CupW (2017)
Last updated on: 30 October 2018.

Richard Gabriel Cyr Gasquet (French: [ʁiʃaʁ ɡaskɛ];[2] born 18 June 1986) is a French professional tennis player. His career-high ATP singles ranking is world No. 7, attained on 9 July 2007.[3] He has won a total of 15 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. His best performance in Grand Slam singles tournaments was reaching the semifinals of the 2007 and 2015 Wimbledon Championships and the semifinals of the 2013 US Open. His best performance in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 singles tournaments was being the runner-up in Hamburg in 2005 and Toronto in 2006 and 2012. He won the mixed doubles Grand Slam title at the 2004 French Open, partnering Tatiana Golovin. He won the men's doubles Olympic bronze medal in 2012 with his doubles partner Julien Benneteau. Gasquet is best known for his long groundstrokes and his one-handed backhand.

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

When he was nine years old, Gasquet was touted as a future champion on the cover of the February 1996 issue of French Tennis Magazine.[4]

As a junior, Gasquet posted a 44–7 career singles record and a 10–4 career doubles record. He had a career-high juniors singles ranking of world No. 1, attained on 9 September 2002.[5]

He made his debut on the ATP tour in April 2002, at the Tennis Masters Series tournament in Monte Carlo where he received a wildcard into qualifying and became the youngest player ever to qualify for a Tennis Masters Series event. At the age of 15 years and 10 months, he defeated Argentina's Franco Squillari in the first round of that tournament to become the youngest player to win a top-tier tour (ATP Tour, Grand Prix tennis circuit or World Championship Tennis) main draw singles match since Tommy Ho at Rye Brook in 1988.

Gasquet made his Grand Slam tournament debut at the 2002 French Open at the age of 15 years, 11 months and nine days. He was the second-youngest player ever to compete in the main draw there. Despite his lack of experience, he managed to take a set off the eventual champion Albert Costa in the first round. Gasquet finished 2002 as the No. 1 junior in the world and was named World Junior Champion, having won the junior titles at the French Open and the US Open. He was also the youngest player to finish in the year-end ATP top 200.

2004: First ATP Tour singles final[edit]

In 2004, he reached his first ATP Tour singles final in Metz, losing to his countryman Jérôme Haehnel in straight sets. He also won the mixed doubles title at the French Open that year, partnering Tatiana Golovin.

2005: First ATP Tour singles title and first Masters singles final[edit]

Gasquet missed the first seven weeks of the 2005 season because of chickenpox. Upon recovery, he won back-to-back Challenger titles in March. In April, riding the momentum of a 10-match winning streak, Gasquet reached the semifinals of the Masters Series tournament at Monte Carlo, handing world No. 1 Roger Federer a surprise defeat in the quarterfinals. He saved three match points before closing it out in a 10–8 tiebreak. As a result, he became the youngest French player ever to defeat a world No. 1. However, the eventual champion Rafael Nadal defeated him in the semifinals.

Fresh off of his win over Federer and having just beaten Paradorn Srichaphan in straight sets, the rising teen disappointingly lost against Andre Agassi in Rome. A month later, he reached the final of the Hamburg Masters, where, this time, he was defeated by Federer in three sets.

In May, Gasquet won his first Grand Slam singles match at Roland Garros. On 18 June, his 19th birthday, he won his first ATP Tour singles title beating Max Mirnyi in the final of the Nottingham Open in England on grass. He made his Davis Cup debut against Russia in July where he won his first rubber against Igor Andreev but lost second to Nikolay Davydenko.

Gasquet had to miss the last two months of the season because of an elbow injury. He finished the year as French no. 1 for the first time.[6]

2006:Three ATP Tour singles titles on three different surfaces and second Masters singles final[edit]

In 2006, Gasquet had a slow start after a first-round defeat by Tommy Haas at the Australian Open. He later avenged this defeat in the Davis Cup first-round tie against Germany, where he beat Haas in five sets. However, he lost both his singles rubbers in a quarterfinal tie versus Russia and suffered an abdominal injury in that tie which left him out of action for a month. Having struggled to find any form after his comeback during the clay season, Gasquet went out in the second round of the French Open to David Nalbandian.

Following a disappointing opening half of the season, in the space of three weeks he successfully defended his title at Nottingham, lost in a first-round meeting with Roger Federer at Wimbledon, and won his second title of the year on clay in Gstaad. Gasquet's form continued to improve heading towards the US Open, as he reached the final of the Masters Series event in Toronto, again being halted by Federer in three sets. He reached the fourth round of the US Open for the second year in a row, where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in five sets.

In October, he won his third ATP Tour singles title of the year, this time on indoor carpet in Lyon, completing his achievement of reaching ATP Tour singles finals on all four surfaces during the year. His season ended when he withdrew from his third round singles match against Marat Safin at the Paris Masters due to illness.[6]

2007: Fifth ATP title and first Grand Slam semifinal[edit]

Gasquet's 2007 started with a quarterfinal showing in Adelaide, followed by a semifinal appearance in Sydney. He went on to reach the fourth round of the 2007 Australian Open, losing to Tommy Robredo in four sets. At Monte Carlo, he notched his first win over a top-10 opponent of the year, winning his third-round match over Ivan Ljubičić, ranked no. 8 at the time. However, he then lost his quarterfinal match to twice former Monte Carlo champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. Gasquet reached his first final of the season two weeks later at Estoril, but the up-and-coming Serbian player Novak Djokovic got the better of him in three sets.

He reached the doubles final of the 2007 Monte Carlo Masters with Julien Benneteau, where the French team lost to Bob and Mike Bryan. Despite losing in the second round of the French Open to Kristof Vliegen, he rose two spots to a career high no. 11.

Gasquet at Wimbledon in 2007

Gasquet then made his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. He beat fellow Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on his way to a quarterfinal showdown with Andy Roddick. In one of the great Wimbledon quarterfinals, Gasquet recovered from a sluggish start and a deficit of two sets and a break in the third, to upset the two-time finalist by a scoreline in five sets. Gasquet managed to score an amazing 93 winners, many of which were with his trademark backhand down the line. He lost in the semifinals to Roger Federer (who beat him in the first round of the same event the previous year). He made his top-10 debut at no. 7 as a result, his highest ranking to date.

The following week in Gstaad, as defending champion, he defeated Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo and avenged his Roland Garros loss to Kristof Vliegen, but lost in the quarterfinals to Igor Andreev. He bowed out at the 2007 US Open because of a virus. Gasquet returned to action in Mumbai, India winning his fifth career ATP title by beating Olivier Rochus in the final. He followed this up by reaching the final of the Tokyo ATP tournament, losing to David Ferrer in straight sets.

He took a few weeks break and then played in Lyon where he was defending champion. He lost to fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (whom he beat at Wimbledon) in the third round in straight sets. At the 2007 Paris Masters, Gasquet defeated Tsonga in the second round and sixth seed James Blake in the third round. He beat Andy Murray in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals, where he was stopped by David Nalbandian in straight sets. With his performance in Paris, Gasquet qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup, clinching eighth place. At the Tennis Masters Cup, Gasquet was defeated by Rafael Nadal in his first round-robin match. He then defeated Novak Djokovic, but lost to David Ferrer. Gasquet failed to qualify for the semifinals, finishing in third place in his group.[7]

2008: 150 wins on ATP Tour[edit]

Gasquet started out the year as the top seed of the Sydney Medibank International, but made an early second-round exit to eventual champion Dmitry Tursunov. Gasquet played with compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the doubles final of the Sydney Medibank International, scoring a major upset over world no. 1 duo Bob and Mike Bryan. The French combination came back from two match points down to win the championship and deny the Bryan brothers ever winning the tournament. After defeating Nick Lindahl, Feliciano López, and Igor Andreev, Gasquet lost in four sets in the fourth round of the 2008 Australian Open to eventual finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Richard Gasquet in the first round at the 2008 Australian Open.

At his next two tournaments, the Open 13 at Marseille, France, and Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Gasquet suffered second-round defeats to Robin Söderling and Igor Andreev. At the ATP Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells, Gasquet lost in straight sets in the fourth round to James Blake. At the next ATP Masters Series tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida, he lost in the first round to Dmitry Tursunov. And at the USA vs France World Group quarterfinal Davis Cup match, Gasquet lost in three sets to Blake in the opening round. Then, in a controversial move, he opted out of a key reverse-singles match against Andy Roddick. After winning his first-round match at Monte Carlo, Gasquet's poor form continued as he lost in the second round to Sam Querrey, and then both of his opening-round matches in Rome and Hamburg to Luis Horna and to Andreas Seppi, respectively.

With a string of disappointing results behind him, Gasquet admitted feeling burnt out, in dire need of a rest from tennis, and a reluctance to play the French Open. He changed coaches immediately ahead of the French Open and pulled out of his first-round match against Florent Serra, citing a knee injury. Gasquet, later announced his decision to not take part in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, preferring instead to prepare for the US Open. He joined fellow top-10 players Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and former top-10 player Tommy Haas of Germany, a silver medalist in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games to all opted out of that year's Olympic Games.

Gasquet began the grass-court season at Queen's Club, where he defeated Mario Ančić of Croatia in the second round, and Italian Simone Bolelli in the third round. However, in his quarterfinal match, he fell to David Nalbandian of Argentina. This was Gasquet's first quarterfinal appearance in a tournament that year. At Wimbledon, Gasquet was the eighth seed and defeated American Mardy Fish in the first round. In his next two matches, he defeated a pair of his compatriots, Sébastien Grosjean and Gilles Simon. He went out to Britain's Andy Murray in the fourth round despite serving for the match at 5–4 in the third set.

At the new tennis rankings posted on Monday, 7 July 2008, Gasquet fell five places from no. 10 to 15, the first time in nine months that his ranking fell outside the top 10, the lowest he had been ranked since April 2007. At the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, Gasquet was the second seed and reached his first ATP tour semifinal and final of the year, defeating Spaniard Albert Montañés in the quarterfinals and sixth-seeded Argentine Agustín Calleri in the semifinals.[8] Favourite to win the tournament, Gasquet suffered a surprise defeat in the finals to Argentine teenager Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets. Gasquet began with a first-round win over Frenchman Michaël Llodra in the Cincinnati Masters, after Llodra retired, and then lost in the second round to Dmitry Tursunov in straight sets. Gasquet made a first-round exit from the US Open, losing against Tommy Haas in five sets.[9]

2009: Struggles with form and testing positive for cocaine[edit]

Gasquet began his 2009 tour season at the Brisbane International. Gasquet came back from a set down to defeat Marc Gicquel in the first round. He then had a straight-set win over American Taylor Dent in the second round and defeated second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals. He lost to Radek Štěpánek in the semifinals. Gasquet then traveled to Sydney, Australia for the Medibank International. He defeated defending champion Dmitry Tursunov in the first round and second seed and compatriot Gilles Simon in straight sets in the second round. Gasquet then defeated countryman Jérémy Chardy, before losing to David Nalbandian in the semifinals. At the Australian Open, he won his first-round match against Argentine Diego Junqueira and defeated Denis Istomin in the second round. In the third round, he lost to Fernando González in a five-set match that lasted over four hours. He held a match point in the third-set tiebreak, but was unable to convert it.

Gasquet had to pull out of the tournament in Marseille because of a right-shoulder injury. His next tournament was Dubai. In the first round, he defeated Marat Safin. He then defeated Italian Simone Bolelli and received a walkover into the semifinals following Andy Murray's withdrawal because of illness, where he was then defeated by David Ferrer. He then participated in the Davis Cup with Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Gaël Monfils against the Czech Republic in the first round. Gasquet teamed up with Michaël Llodra (who replaced Monfils) to play the doubles rubber on day two, but they lost in four sets against Radek Štěpánek and Tomáš Berdych. France then went on to lose the tie 2–3, the first time they had exited in the first round since 2000. His next tournament was the BNP Paribas Open Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. He received a bye in the first round, and then defeated compatriot Michaël Llodra, before losing to Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

Gasquet after hitting a backhand at the 2009 US Open.

In May 2009, Gasquet was provisionally suspended after testing positive for cocaine. Traces of the drug were found in a urine sample taken in March 2009.[10] In July 2009, he was cleared to return to competitive tennis after a tribunal found that "the cocaine entered his system through inadvertent contamination in a nightclub". Gasquet suggested that the cocaine entered his system after he French-kissed a stripper in a Miami nightclub. The tribunal stated that the quantity of cocaine detected in Gasquet's sample was "very small, about the size of a grain of salt"[11][12]

Gasquet made his return to the tour at the Pilot Pen championship in New Haven to qualify for the main draw, but lost in the second round of qualifying. Playing his first Grand Slam since January, Gasquet drew Rafael Nadal in the first round of the US Open and lost in straight sets.

Gasquest made a solid run at his next tournament, the Open de Moselle in Metz, beating Michael Berrer, Christophe Rochus and Philipp Petzschner to reach his first ATP semifinals since January, and lost to eventual winner Gaël Monfils.

Gasquet also made the quarterfinals in the Kuala Lumpur Open 250 tournament in Malaysia, losing to Fernando Verdasco despite leading 3–0 in the first set.[13]

2010: Return to form and sixth ATP title[edit]

Gasquet began the season at the Brisbane International. He defeated Jarkko Nieminen and Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, but he lost to Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. He then entered the Medibank International in Sydney. There, he beat Feliciano López in the first round, and Benjamin Becker in the second. Gasquet then defeated Potito Starace in the quarterfinals and Julien Benneteau in the semifinals. However, he lost in the final to Marcos Baghdatis.

At the Australian Open, he lost to Mikhail Youzhny in five sets in the first round, despite having several match points in the third and fourth sets. Gasquet withdrew from both the Movistar Open and the 2010 Brasil Open because of a recurring injury, but returned at the 2010 Copa Telmex, where he lost in the first round to Juan Ignacio Chela.

Next, Gasquet played the Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament, where he defeated Carlos Moyá in the first round. In the second round, however, he lost to defending champion Nicolás Almagro. He lost in the first round of both the 2010 BNP Paribas Open to Simon Greul, and the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open to Olivier Rochus. In April, he played at the 2010 Grand Prix Hassan II tournament, where he defeated Olivier Rochus and Andrey Golubev, before losing to Victor Hănescu in the quarterfinals. At the 2010 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Gasquet advanced to the second round after a three-set win over Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver, but was defeated by Tomáš Berdych. He lost to Fernando Verdasco in the second round of Barcelona, after defeating Igor Andreev in the first round. Gasquet defeated Olivier Rochus and Andreas Seppi in the Serbian Open, but lost to John Isner despite being two points away from victory and a break up in the final set. Gasquet then played in a Challenger event in Bordeaux, where he defeated Thierry Ascione, Alex Bogdanovic, Olivier Rochus, and Florent Serra in straight sets, before defeating Michaël Llodra in the final.

As preparation for the 2010 French Open, Gasquet entered the 2010 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur. He advanced to the final with wins over Lukáš Lacko, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Olivier Rochus, and Potito Starace. He faced second seed Fernando Verdasco in the final and prevailed in three sets, breaking a five-match losing streak against Verdasco. Richard lost his first-round match of the 2010 French Open against fourth seed Andy Murray in five sets. Gasquet then played in the 2010 Aegon Championships in preparation for Wimbledon, and won against Kei Nishikori and Rajeev Ram, but withdrew in the third round due to a back injury. He also withdrew from Wimbledon as a result.

After being sidelined for a lengthy period, Richard then appeared at the 2010 Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad in Switzerland. Seeded seventh, he had victories over Farrukh Dustov, Daniel Brands, and fourth seed Albert Montañés to reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, he defeated Yuri Schukin for a place in the final, where he lost to Nicolás Almagro. At the Cincinnati Masters, he reached the third round, beating Mikhail Youzhny, before falling to Mardy Fish. At the US Open he brushed aside sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko in the second round, the Russian winning a mere nine games. He lost in the fourth round to Gaël Monfils in straight sets, despite having held set points in both the second and third sets. At the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000, Gasquet advanced to the third round, defeating Ernests Gulbis and Monfils, before losing to Novak Djokovic. He reached the quarterfinals in Basel before falling to Victor Troicki in a lacklustre display. At the Paris Masters, he outlasted Nicolas Mahut in a marathon, winning 9–7 in the third set tiebreak, before falling to Roger Federer in straight sets in the second round. He made the Davis Cup team for France in the final against Serbia.[14]

2011: 250 wins on ATP Tour[edit]

Gasquet at the Boodles Challenge in June 2011.

Gasquet began 2011 at the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open, losing to Björn Phau. He then headed to Australia to play in the 2011 Medibank International Sydney, losing to Viktor Troicki. Afterwards he played in the 2011 Australian Open, losing in the third round to Tomáš Berdych. He then competed at the 2011 PBZ Zagreb Indoors, where he reached the quarterfinals after a bye and the withdrawal of Arnaud Clément. However, he retired against Michael Berrer, 2–5 down due to a shoulder injury.

After a short break, he played in the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships, where he defeated qualifiers Grigor Dimitrov and Sergei Bubka, as well as compatriot Gilles Simon, before he lost to top seed Roger Federer in the semifinals in straight sets, despite serving for the second set.

At the BNP Paribas Open, he defeated top-10 players Jürgen Melzer and Andy Roddick back to back. It was the first time in his career that he had defeated two top-10 players consecutively. He lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. With this result, he made his return to the top 20 of the rankings. In Miami, he played Paolo Lorenzi, who upset Ivan Ljubičić, in the second round. He won that match, but fell to Mardy Fish. Gasquet then played in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where he had a tough first-round victory over Denis Istomin. He then breezed through his second-round match against Guillermo García-López, before falling to Rafael Nadal in the third round.

At the Mutua Madrid Open, Gasquet was defeated in the first round by the Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver. At the Italian Open, he played Roger Federer in the third round, and came from behind to claim a spectacular victory in three sets with two tiebreaks. He was defeated by Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

At the French Open, Gasquet cruised through his first two rounds before impressively defeating Thomaz Bellucci in four sets in front of an animated Parisian crowd. He, however, lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the fourth round. He rose to world No. 13 as a result of this run.

At Wimbledon, he was defeated in the fourth round by Andy Murray. He reached the third rounds of the Rogers Cup in Canada and the Southern & Western Open in Cincinnati, where he was defeated by Nicolás Almagro and Mardy Fish, respectively. At the US Open, he lost in the second round to Ivo Karlović.[15]

2012: Seventh ATP title and Olympic bronze medal in doubles[edit]

Coached by Riccardo Piatti, Gasquet kicked off his 2012 season by competing at the 2012 Hopman Cup alongside top-10 WTA pro Marion Bartoli. He made the quarterfinals in Sydney. He competed in the 2012 Australian Open shortly afterward, defeating Andreas Seppi, Andrey Golubev, and ninth seed Janko Tipsarević en route to the fourth round. There, he faced and lost to fifth seed David Ferrer. Immediately thereafter, he made the quarterfinals at the Open Sud de France, losing to Juan Martín del Potro.

In February, he made the quarterfinals in Rotterdam, before losing to Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets. In Indian Wells, he lost his first match to Albert Ramos. Gasquet reached the fourth round in Miami, but was defeated by eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He reached the final in Estoril, where he lost to Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets. In Madrid, Gasquet beat Thomaz Bellucci and Victor Troicki, before succumbing to Roger Federer. Gasquet defeated Andy Murray in the third round of the Rome Masters, but lost to David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

Gasquet reached the fourth round of the French Open, before losing to Andy Murray.[16] At Wimbledon he lost in the fourth round to Florian Mayer and in the US Open he lost at the same stage to David Ferrer. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Gasquet played in both the singles and doubles competitions. In the singles, he lost to Marcos Baghdatis in the second round. He had more success in the doubles, however, as he and Julien Benneteau defeated Spaniards David Ferrer and Feliciano López in the third-place playoff to win the bronze medals.[17]

2013: 8th, 9th, and 10th ATP titles and second Grand Slam semifinal[edit]

Gasquet started his 2013 season by capturing the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open in Doha. In the final, he defeated former finalist Nikolay Davydenko in three sets. He followed that win by reaching the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open, where he met and lost to compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets. Gasquet won his second title of the year defeating fellow Frenchman Benoît Paire in the Open Sud de France final. At the French Open, he lost in the fourth round to Stanislas Wawrinka despite winning the first two sets. As the ninth seed, Gasquet reached the third round at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, before losing to Australia's Bernard Tomic in four sets.[18]

At the US Open, Gasquet made it to the semifinals, his best run at a Grand Slam event since Wimbledon 2007. He defeated David Ferrer in the quarterfinals, once again letting a two-set lead slip before holding his nerve to win 6-3 in the fifth. He was subsequently beaten by eventual champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets. Nevertheless, Gasquet's run strengthened his grip on a top-10 position, and he went on to reach the ATP World Tour Finals for the second time in his career, once again being eliminated in the group stage after defeats by Juan Martín del Potro and Roger Federer.[19]

2014: Struggles and injuries[edit]

Gasquet started his 2014 season in the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open in Doha, where he was the defending champion. He lost to Gaël Monfils in the second round. In the third round of the 2014 Australian Open, he was defeated by Tommy Robredo in four sets, despite taking the first set 6–2. Gasquet returned to Montpellier to defend his title at the 2014 Open Sud de France, but was defeated by Monfils in the final. At the 2014 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, Gasquet was defeated in the second round by Philipp Kohlschreiber. He reached the third round of the 2014 Indian Wells Masters. At the 2014 Miami Masters, he defeated Alejandro Gonzalez and Kevin Anderson in straight sets. However, in the fourth round, he was defeated by Roger Federer. Gasquet made his return from back injury at the French Open. He reach the third round, before being defeated by Fernando Verdasco.

Gasquet open his grass-court season with a loss to Robin Haase at the 2014 Gerry Weber Open. He then reached the final of the 2014 Aegon International. In the final, he was defeated by defending champion Feliciano Lopez for the first time in five meetings. Gasquet suffered further misery in the second round at Wimbledon, when he once again relinquished a two-set lead, this time to wildcard Nick Kyrgios, losing a joint Grand Slam record nine match points in the process. Gasquet defeated Denis Istomin and Paolo Lorenzi to reach the third round of the 2014 US Open. In the third round, he was defeated by Gaël Monfils. Toward the end of the season, Gasquet struggled with injury and slipped down in the rankings to no. 27. His last match of the year was a very one-sided loss against Roger Federer in the decisive rubber of the Davis Cup final.[20]

2015: Comeback, third Grand Slam semifinal and return to top 10[edit]

Gasquet started his 2015 season in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. He lost to Tomáš Berdych in quarterfinal match. In the third round of the 2015 Australian Open, he was defeated by Kevin Anderson. Gasquet returned to Montpellier to win his 11th title at the 2015 Open Sud de France, after final victory over injured Jerzy Janowicz. He also won his 12th title at the 2015 Estoril Open beating Nick Kyrgios who reached the final of an ATP tournament for the first time in his career.[21] This victory made Gasquet one of only eight active players to be placed in the top 10 for number of titles, finals and semifinals attained.

At the French Open, Gasquet reached the fourth round, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. At Gasquet's first grass court tournament of the season, the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club, he beat Simone Bolelli in the first round, before losing to the third-seeded seed Milos Raonic. In Wimbledon, he defeated many top-ranked players, including 2014 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov, 2014 quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios and recent French Open Champion Stanislas Wawrinka. He was ousted by defending and eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in straight sets. This ended his best run in Wimbledon since 2007, where he reached the semi-finals as well. His performances at Wimbledon elevated his ranking seven places up to No. 13. Gasquet would finish the remainder of the season on a positive note reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open, followed up with two semifinals in Stockholm and Basel before losing to Andy Murray in the quarters of the Paris Masters. Gasquet's strong play was enough to secure a year end top 10 finish for the fourth time in his career.[22]

2016: 14th ATP title, first French Open quarterfinal and injuries[edit]

Shortly before the new year, Gasquet withdrew from the Australian Open due to a back injury.[23] Gasquet then competed at Open Sud de France in Montpellier where he was the No.1 seed and where he received a bye into the second round. Gasquet started his campaign with straight sets victories over Ernests Gulbis and Marcos Baghdatis respectively before defeating Dustin Brown in the semi-finals in three sets and Paul-Henri Mathieu in the final in straight sets to retain his singles title and win his fourth Open Sud de France singles title.

At the French Open, Gasquet, seeded ninth, ousted fifth seed Kei Nishikori in four sets in the fourth round to reach his first French Open singles quarter-final, where he lost to second seed Andy Murray in four sets.

At the Wimbledon Championships, Gasquet was playing his fourth-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga when the former retired down 2-4 in the first set because of pain in his back intercostal muscles.[24]

Gasquet withdrew from the 2016 Olympics tennis tournament because of his back injury. In the men's singles draw, Gasquet was replaced by his compatriot Benoît Paire, while in the men's doubles draw he was replaced by Gaël Monfils, who paired up with Jo Wilfried Tsonga.[25]

2017: Davis and Hopman Cup victories[edit]

Gasquet stated that it was his goal to return to the top 10 of the ATP singles rankings in 2017.[26] He also stated he wanted to achieve greater success at the bigger tournaments, which he defined as the Grand Slams and the Davis Cup (rather than the Masters 1000 tournaments).[27] He started the year at the Hopman Cup playing for France, where he won both his singles and doubles matches, securing a victory for France over their opponents Germany. In France's next match Gasquet once again delivered winning both his matches (singles and mixed doubles) to ensure France's defeat of Great Britain. However that meant Gasquet would have to play Roger Federer of Switzerland, whom he had lost to on numerous occasions in the past. Predictably Gasquet lost to Federer in straight sets, the first set being a 6-1 annihilation, however due to Mladenovic's victory over Bencic and Mladenovic and Gasquet's victory over Federer and Bencic in the mixed doubles, France progressed through to the final where they faced the United States. France defeated the United States in the final after Gasquet and Mladenovic pulled off the decisive victory in the mixed doubles.

Gasquet then played in the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open. He lost in the third round to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets. That match had the honour of being the latest starting match in the history of the Australian Open with a start time of 11.58pm. Gasquet won his singles rubber against Taro Daniel in France's Davis Cup World Group 4-1 first round win over Japan. In early February, Gasquet was beaten in the singles final of the Open Sud de France by Alexander Zverev in straight sets. Gasquet was forced to miss the first three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments of the year (Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo), following appendicitis surgery. He missed the next two ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (Madrid and Rome) due to back injury. Gasquet's best singles results from mid-February to the end of June were in ATP World Tour tournaments in Marseille, Halle and Eastbourne, losing in the singles semifinals of all three of them.

Gasquet started the second half of the year badly, losing in the singles first round at Wimbledon and the US Open, and the singles second round in Montreal and Cincinnati. He squandered 3 match points to the eventual singles champion Alexander Zverev in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 Montreal tournament. In September, he played on the ATP Challenger Tour for the first time since 2010, at the tournament in Szczecin, where he won the 9th ATP Challenger Tour singles title of his career. In October, he lost in the singles quarterfinals of three tournaments - Tokyo, Shanghai and Vienna.

Gasquet helped France win the 2017 Davis Cup by winning (he was paired with Pierre-Hugues Herbert) the doubles match in the final against Belgium.

2018: 500th ATP World Tour career main draw singles victory[edit]

Gasquet played his first tournament of the year in Doha. Seeded no. 5, he defeated Víctor Estrella Burgos in the first round before losing to the Greek qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. Gasquet lost in the singles third round of the Australian Open to Roger Federer in straight sets, his 9th consecutive loss to Federer. In the 2018 Davis Cup World Group first round tie against the Netherlands, he beat Robin Haase in four sets in the second singles rubber to level the score at 1-1; France won the tie 3-1. In February, Gasquet reached the singles final of the Open Sud de France for the sixth consecutive year, where he was defeated by his countryman Lucas Pouille in straight sets. Gasquet lost his opening singles matches in his next three tournaments - Rotterdam, Dubai and Miami. On 2 April, he dropped to world no. 38 in the ATP singles rankings - his lowest since being world no. 38 on 6 September 2010.

Gasquet ended his run of four consecutive singles defeats at the Grand Prix Hassan II, where he was beaten in the semifinals by Kyle Edmund. At the Monte-Carlo Masters, Gasquet recorded his 500th ATP World Tour career main draw singles victory with a third-round win over Mischa Zverev. He became the first Frenchman in the Open Era and only the eighth active player to achieve that milestone. He was defeated by Alexander Zverev (Mischa Zverev's younger brother) in the quarterfinals, despite winning the first set.[28][29] Gasquet won only one singles match (in Madrid) in his next three tournaments - Budapest, Madrid and Rome. He lost in the third round of the French Open to Rafael Nadal 3-6,2-6,2-6, to fall to a 0-16 match record against Nadal. Gasquet won his 15th ATP World Tour career singles title and his third one on grass at the 2018 Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in The Netherlands with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Jérémy Chardy.[30] Gasquet lost in the singles first round in Halle and at Wimbledon.

In mid-July, Gasquet reached his third ATP World Tour singles final of the year at the Swedish Open, where he lost to Fabio Fognini in three sets. At the German Open in the following week, Gasquet (seeded no. 7) defeated his countryman Benoît Paire in the first round before he was forced to withdraw from his second round match against Nicolás Jarry because of injury to his abductors[disambiguation needed].[31]

In Tokyo Gasquet defeated Kevin Anderson and reached the semifinals.

Playing style[edit]

Gasquet is an all-court player, known for his complete and classy game as well as his single-handed backhand, which is considered to be one of the best ever. His forehand is his weaker wing, and is generally less consistent and slower. For his forehand, Gasquet uses a semi-western to Eastern grip with an unusually long take-back. However, upon contact, he hits the ball flat with an eastern grip while flicking his wrist, seemingly combining flat and topspin strokes together. However, it is due to this that his forehand is considered "awkward" and is weaker.

On the other hand, Gasquest's single-handed backhand is considered one of the most graceful, efficient and effective backhands ever. Like his forehand, he winds up his backhand very far backwards, his left hand supporting the take-back. Upon release, he flicks his wrist as well and produces a large follow-through and finish, executing one of the most deadly top-spin single-handed backhands. His backhand is known for its consistency, speed and impeccable accuracy, and has been widely acclaimed by many pundits and past players such as Robbie Koenig, John McEnroe and Brad Gilbert. His ability to generate massive pace on his backhand, even from far behind the base line, coupled with the amount of top-spin he uses produces problems for many players. When returning angled shots to his backhand, he demonstrates both power and control, hitting them with a lot of angle. He is also known to hit flat returns on high top-spin shots directed to his backhand, a shot most single-handed backhand players struggle with.[32][33][34]

He has also been praised for his variety and all-court play, and is solid at all parts of the court. His volleys are consistent and he very actively seeks to end points at the net, which complements his baseline ability to push players to the back of the court, buying him time to come up. He is also very crafty, often using drop-shots and fakes to misdirect opponents. He also performs many harder, rarer shots in today's game such as the drive volley, half-volley and occasionally serve-and-volleys. He also plays well on all surfaces, his dominant baseline play and long, winding groundstrokes allow him to do well on clay while his more aggressive, serve-and-volley style gives him an edge on grass courts and the combination of both work well on hard courts. This is shown in his almost equal success on all surfaces, having reached at least the quarterfinals of all grand slam tournaments.

Despite his strengths, Gasquet also has a few prominent weaknesses, which it could be argued are entirely responsible for his lack of success in big tournaments and against top 10 opponents. His first weakness is despite his strength and aggressive potential, he sometimes does not actively seek out winners from his groundstrokes and mainly waits for his opponent to show signs of aggression before replying with his own. He also predictably plays metres behind the baseline, which support his baseline play and slow buildup on his ground-strokes, but leaves him susceptible to drop-shots and angled shots. This aspect of his game in particular has been lamented by his fans around the globe, who see him as being too set in his ways to change this aspect of his approach to the detriment of his results against the best players in the world, who can easily take advantage of it. His serve is also not especially strong, with a slightly awkward contact point even on his first serve, which gives his serves more spin rather than speed.

Equipment[edit]

Gasquet currently endorses the Head Graphene Extreme Pro. For his overgrip, he uses the Tourna Grip, which he double grips at only the bottom half of his racquet's handle, since he hits his backhand with one hand. While Gasquet has sported the paint job of the Extreme line of racquets for years, it is generally accepted by those in the know that underneath the paint is the older Head Liquidmetal Instinct Tour XL, for the molds of the Extreme racquets and the Instinct racquets are distinctly different to the trained eye.[35][36] He has used the Instinct since 2004. His racquet is strung with Luxilon Big Banger Original 16 String. He wore Lacoste clothing for many years, before switching to Le Coq Sportif in 2014.[37] His shoe of choice is from Asics. He also has Lagardère Tags on his sleeves.

Personal life[edit]

Gasquet has launched the Richard Gasquet Foundation which aims to use sport as a means to bring underprivileged children back to health, and help them build a future. He is a big rugby fan, supporting his hometown team Béziers.[38] He has stated in an interview that if he were not a tennis player he would probably be a rugby player. He is also a fan of football/soccer and supports his local team Montpellier, as well as Paris St-Germain.[39] He has described basketball player Tony Parker, who plays in the NBA, as a very good and genuine friend.[40] He has stated that his favourite cuisine is Italian.[41]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam singles tournament and Year-End Singles Championship performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A 1R 1R A 1R 4R 4R 3R 1R 3R 4R 4R 3R 3R A 3R 3R 0 / 14 24–14
French Open 1R 1R 1R 3R 2R 2R A A 1R 4R 4R 4R 3R 4R QF 3R 3R 0 / 15 26–15
Wimbledon A A 1R 4R 1R SF 4R A A 4R 4R 3R 2R SF 4R 1R 1R 0 / 13 28–13
US Open LQ A LQ 4R 4R 2R 1R 1R 4R 2R 4R SF 3R QF 1R 1R 3R 0 / 14 27–13
Win–Loss 0–1 0–2 0–3 8–3 4–4 10–3 6–3 2–2 3–3 9–4 12–4 13–4 7–4 14–4 7–3 4–4 6–4 0 / 56 105–55
Year-End Championship
ATP World Tour Finals Did Not Qualify RR Did Not Qualify RR Did Not Qualify 0 / 2 1–5

*Gasquet withdrew from the 2007 US Open due to illness, having won his opening round.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/richard-gasquet/g628/overview
  2. ^ "The pronunciation by Richard Gasquet himself". ATPWorldTour.com. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  3. ^ ATP World Tour – Tennis Players – Richard Gasquet
  4. ^ "2005 Monte Carlo SF: Nadal defeats Gssquet 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3". Tennis Buzz. 3 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Richard Gasquet's Juniors Profile". ITF official website.
  6. ^ a b "Overview". atpworldtour.com. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  7. ^ "2007 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  8. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AmySpEw0ol9ygO3achDLetk4v7YF?slug=txstuttgarttennis&prov=st&type=lgns
  9. ^ "2008 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  10. ^ "Gasquet suspended after drug test". BBC Sport. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  11. ^ "US Open: Richard Gasquet puts 'Cocaine Kiss' saga behind him". The Telegraph. 31 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Gasquet cleared to return to tour". BBC Sport. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  13. ^ "2009 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  14. ^ "2010 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  15. ^ "2011 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  16. ^ "Richard Gasquet". Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  17. ^ "2012 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  18. ^ Rumsby, Ben (29 June 2013). "Wimbledon 2013: Bernard Tomic stuns ninth seed Richard Gasquet to move into fourth round". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  19. ^ "2013 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  20. ^ "2014 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  21. ^ http://www.millenniumestorilopen.com/en/news/kyrgios-photos-and-autographs-session
  22. ^ "2015 results". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  23. ^ "Richard Gasquet withdraws from Australian Open with back injury". Associated Press. ESPN. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Richard Gasquet, contraint à l'abandon : "J'ai ressenti comme des coups de couteau"". www.eurosport.fr. 4 July 2016.
  25. ^ "OLYMPICS - Richard Gasquet withdraws, Benoit Paire replaces him". www.tennisworldusa.org. 19 July 2016.
  26. ^ http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Tennis_Interviews/38968/richard-gasquet-next-year-i-want-to-break-into-the-top10-again-/
  27. ^ http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Tennis_Interviews/39079/richard-gasquet-not-done-yet-i-still-have-ambitions-for-the-big-tournaments-/
  28. ^ "Tribute: Gasquet, 'Le Monsieur', Reaches Elite Status With 500th Win". ATP World Tour official website. 19 April 2018.
  29. ^ Mesic, Dzevad (2018-04-20). "Richard Gasquet happy to reach 500 ATP win mark in Monaco". tennisworldusa.org. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  30. ^ "Gasquet Defeats Countryman Chardy To Lift 15th Title". 17 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Tournoi de Hambourg : Gaël Monfils éliminé au deuxième tour, Richard Gasquet blessé". L'Équipe. 25 July 2018.
  32. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon/11729969/Wimbledon-2015-Richard-Gasquets-one-handed-backhand-is-a-thing-of-beauty.-It-is-simply-balletic.html
  33. ^ http://www.optimumtennis.net/richard-gasquet-backhand.htm
  34. ^ http://tennis.about.com/od/playersmale/ss/gasquetbackhand.htm
  35. ^ "The Tennis Racket". ESPN. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  36. ^ "Gasquet's racquet". TalkTennis. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  37. ^ Epstein, Jackie. "Richard Gasquet hopes new kit will help him succeed at Australian Open". Herald Sun. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  38. ^ http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Richard-Gasquet.aspx
  39. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4FxjquE4rQ
  40. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lpd_f5PrFE
  41. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miHWXipx-ac

External links[edit]

Profiles[edit]