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ATP Review: Richard Gasquet Got Win In Marrakech; While Fernando Verdasco Losses

Fernando Verdasco the fifth seed was defeated by qualifier Denis Kudla in the first round of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship (USMCCC) taking place in Houston.

Verdasco who is ranked 36th in the world, went a break up, but he was broken back two times by the American. He lost the first set 6-4. The second set ended at a tie break after Kudla set point and saved break, and Verdasco loses his first three service points as he prevailed 7/4. Frances Tiafoe after winning made his way to the next round. He beat wildcard Mackenzie McDonald with the score 6-3 6-3 in the time span of one hour and seven minutes. Read more »

Close one for Gasquet, almost winning against Istomin

Richard Gasquet has made his way in round no. 2 in the ongoing BNP Paribas Masters Tennis tournament. He was very close to winning his match against Denis Istomin in the opening round when the Russia international decided to pull out because of his troubled knee.

After having lost the first set in tie breaker, Gasquet had come back to win the second one comfortably by 6-2 and then, in the decider, he was leading by 4-0.

This win of Gasquet made the spectators smile eventually there in Paris.

Before Gasquet, a lot of local players had lost their matches and had been knocked out from the opening round leaving the crowd disappointed.

It appeared as if Gasquet was also going the same way when he played some shocking shots in that first set tie-breaker, but, thereafter, he improved his game and ensured he would not let any upset get created.

As far as Istomin is concerned, he had trouble in his knees from the first set itself, but, he carried on. However, with the movement on the court, it kept getting worse and worse for him and in the final set, he had had enough.

He spent a lot of time with his medical staff in the middle of that set though trying to get his problem sorted out, but, eventually, he made the call that the pain was too much.

It was the 5th time in 6 matches that Gasquet beat Istomin.

Facing Gasquet in the following round will be Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain who is higher in rankings than him. The Spaniard is at no. 11 and that’s why, he did not play the opening round as he had a bye.

Gasquet, being out of top 16 in the world rankings, did not get the bye.

Navratilova Thinks Serena Had Other Reason For Drop Out

Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, doesn’t think that Serena Williams left her doubles match at All England Club last week because of some sort of viral infection.

The former Czech player reckons the real reason behind the withdrawal of the American superstar was something else.

Speaking to a website, Navratilova said, “Serena was not in the perfect physical and mental state, that was clear, but, I am not sure it was a viral infection. Whatever that was though, we should just hope for her quick recovery, but, I do believe the real thing hasn’t come out.”

“I saw the statement of her coach and he was like he didn’t have any idea what happened. That’s ridiculous. A coach doesn’t happen to be this irresponsible.”

“First and foremost, Serena should not have gone into the match provided the condition she was in. It seemed to be almost impossible for her to compete. She was struggling to make connection.”

Before that doubles match, Serena had been defeated by Alize Cornet of France in the Round of 3 in the singles competition and according to Navratilova, it’s the disappointment of that loss which might have taken Serena in a bad state of mind, but, if that was the case, she should have withdrawn straightaway rather than creating that sort of dramatic situation.

In the Words of Navratilova who herself won a total of 18 Grand Slam titles, “If you have an issue, you shouldn’t go out there. That’s fair enough. But, once you step out, you should try your best to get through the match. It doesn’t matter if there is something that’s hurting you from inside or you are gutted because of a defeat; you’ve got to make it through. That’s what I think.”

Youzhny Wins First Match

Kafelnikov’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, won his first match in the Swiss Open yesterday and made his way into the Round of 8. He defeated Kenny De Schepper of France in the straight sets by 6-3, 6-4.

Now, for a place in the semis, Youzhny will be up against Robin Haase of Netherlands.

Haase advanced to the quarter finals by getting better of the local boy Henri Laaksonen in a hard fought contest.

Youzhny and Haase had faced each other in the title round of this tournament last year. The Russian had managed to clinch the title by emerging victorious in that match.

So, Haase would definitely be looking for revenge. It would be difficult for him to do that though given Youzhny’s recent form.

Youzhny had looked like returning to form towards the end of the clay court season itself as he had reached the Round of 4 in the tournament in Stuttgart. Now, it seems that he has hit peak form and he would surely be the favourite going into the match against Haase.

Talking to the reporters after securing win against Schepper, Youzhny said, “You always feel nervous before the opening game, no matter where you are playing and who is there to face you. Thankfully, I did well, got a couple of breakthroughs and did alright on the serve too.”

“I have been hampered by injuries this season; but I can still make it a decent season for me if I remain consistent in the remaining tournaments.”

Youzhny is presently out of top 75 in the world rankings. He is at the 79th position. He can make big strides in the rankings in the near future though, but, for that, he needs to defend his crown successfully at Gstaad.


Richard Gasquet’s campaign in the BNP Paribas Open has come to an end. He suffered a comprehensive defeat against Fernando Verdasco in the round of 16 yesterday. The score line of the match was 6-7(5), 1-6 against the Frenchman.

Gasquet didn’t play as badly as the above numbers suggest though. He was very competitive in the opening set which he eventually lost in the tie breaker and then, in the following set, his game fell apart a little bit.

He just didn’t seem to be there 100% mentally in the second set. He looked exhausted and ended up playing lose shots to just gift his opponent the points.

It was the 15th time that these two players were going head to head against each other. Out of the last 14 encounters, both had won 7 each. So, this win gave Verdasco a lead of 8-7.

It’s not that Gasquet didn’t get opportunities during the match. He actually got plenty of them, but, he managed to capitalize on just a few and thus, deservedly ended up on the losing side.

The no. of break points that Gasquet got in total was 8 and he missed out every time.

Verdasco on the other hand pounced on a couple of break points and that helped him in winning the second set by such a big margin.

The match went on for about one and half hours, 95 minutes to be precise.

Now, in the quarter final round, Verdasco will be locking horns with the local boy John Isner who is in very good form at the moment. He banged in 13 aces in his last match against the Taiwanese player Yen-Hsun Lu and beat him with complete dominance in just more than one hour.

TOP 10

There were not many people who had the belief that Richard Gasquet would be one of the top 10 male tennis players in the world at the end of the 2013 season, but, that happened. The Frenchman was at the ninth position in the world rankings when the season finished.

There was never any doubt about the potential that Gasquet possesses. He has always been considered as one of the most naturally gifted players on the tour, but, the negative thing about him was his inconsistency. He just didn’t seem to keep his good form going for a long period of time, but, in the last season, he did that to some extent. He produced goods on a consistent basis and managed to silence his critics.

Gasquet played a total of 73 matches during the 2013 season out of which he won 50. The no. of singles title won by him in the season was 3 which was a couple more than what he had won in 2012.

However, one thing that Gasquet couldn’t do during the last season was that he couldn’t get better of the big players regularly and that’s something that he will have to do if he has to be called great. He will have to put up quality performances at big stages.

Nevertheless Gasquet’s consistency was a big positive for him during the last season and he needs to continue that in the upcoming season too. He has certainly got the ability to make it to the top of the world rankings. He has got one of the most effective backhands in the circuit.

The 27 years old French player has recently appointed a new coach and he would be looking to flourish under him in 2014.