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Archive for the ‘richard gasquet’ Category

Men’s Quarter-Finals Set at Indian Wells.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 17, 2011

Juan Martin del Potro and Tommy Robredo we know about. But who else is in the quarter-finals? Stunningly, these three:

Neither Roger nor Rafa had a particularly easy time of it during last night’s night session – which I didn’t watch because it was in the middle of the bloody night – as Ryan Harrison and Somdev Devvarman respectively put up a good fight, but they still won in straight sets and progress. It doesn’t quite match Djokovic’s frankly terrifying 60 61 victory over Viktor Troicki, but then what does? I’m starting to idly wonder if Nole kept on being unbeatable for the next, say, two years, whether I would eventually find it boring. I don’t think so.

Rafa will face Ivo Karlovic in the quarters after the Croatian with a mission beat Albert Montanes, 76(7) 62. I must admit I haven’t watched Karlovic since he upset Ferrer earlier in the tournament, but he does seem to be doing something right. The winner of that will meet either JMDP or Robredo.

Based on the fun last night, it looks as if Djokovic’s next match might finally be a challenge for him after Richard Gasquet completely outplayed Andy Roddick for a 63 76(5) victory. I can’t really do justice to the way Gasquet played except to say that it was a beautiful, brief shining reminder of exactly why we’ve all talked about this man forever. He backhanded Roddick to death, was cool and clutch in the biggest moments, and had the American so frustrated that he tossed his racquet more than once and attempted to give the umpire a warning for “freaking ineptitude”. I can understand his emotions at being so publicly trampled upon, but he doesn’t win my respect with that attitude – particularly because I don’t think he would have behaved like that if he’d been across the net from, say, Federer. Anyway, Gasquet moves on with a well-deserved victory, and if he brings the same form to the court against Djokovic, we could have a classic.

Completing the final eight is Stan Wawrinka, who has quietly been having a dead impressive tournament, proving too good for Nikolay Davydenko, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych in succession. It’s hard to put your finger on what separates top-flight Stan from regular Stan, and harder still to predict if he can bring it to the court against Federer, but if he does this could be another brilliant match. All in all, it’s a sensational quarter-finals lineup with the tantalising possibility of upsets. I’m excited.

Men

Singles – Fourth Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] S Devvarman (IND) 75 64
[2] R Federer (SUI) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(4) 63
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [16] V Troicki (SRB) 60 61
[12] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [7] T Berdych (CZE) 36 64 64
[18] R Gasquet (FRA) d [8] A Roddick (USA) 63 76(5)
[25] T Robredo (ESP) d [21] S Querrey (USA) 61 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d [23] A Montanes (ESP) 76(7) 62
J Del Potro (ARG) d [32] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(3) 76(7)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) d A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) 67(7) 63 10-8
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) 61 76(5)

OOP

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [8] V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs [25] T Robredo (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[16] M Sharapova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
M Knowles (BAH) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) vs S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA

STADIUM 2 start :
Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] V Azarenka (BLR) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [8] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) – WTA – After Suitable Rest

Not Before 3:30 PM
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) vs R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)

STADIUM 3 start 12:30 pm
R Turner (USA) vs V Verma (USA) – IWTG CHAMPIONSHIP 4.0
N Dechant (USA) vs R Romero (USA) – IWTG CHAMPIONSHIP 3.5

Posted in andy roddick, indian wells, ivo karlovic, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, richard gasquet, roger federer, stanislas wawrinka | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The Mystery of Marin & Other 250 Tales.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 5, 2011

Marin didn’t exactly got his revenge on Florian Mayer today. Instead, he notched up his second straight-sets loss to the German in a year, 63 64. I watched, and it was dreadful.

Marin himself said that he made a lot of unforced errors and couldn’t find any rhythm, which is a pretty accurate summation. I’ve been making light and making fun of Marin’s downward spiral for a long time, but I may have just reached the end of my tether. I intend no disrespect to Mayer, who is an incredibly improved player over the last year and making himself dangerous to all sorts of people. But it was the same match that Marin has basically been playing for a year now and I have just had enough.

What is going on?! This is the man who has been tipped for the top since forever, because he’s always looked to be nothing but upside. This is the man who made the quarterfinals of the 2009 US Open by beating Murray, blasted Rafa off the court in Beijing, then went straight on to the semifinals of the Australian Open. He struggled his way through Zagreb afterwards through sheer willpower, and then … what? I don’t know. OK, so he’s had his moments – finals of Munich, semis in Washington, round of sixteen at Roland Garros – but that is the very least he should be accomplishing, and those moments should not be interspersed with losses to the likes of Andreas Seppi and Andreas Haider-Maurer. And I just don’t understand it. He hasn’t had any major injury problems that have been reported in the press, and it’s a fact that he didn’t forget how to serve, hit his forehand or approach the net. He just became unable to do any of them on a consistently successful basis, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Watch him these days and he’s a wreck of a player. Even when he’s winning, he’s still a bundle of nerves and errors being held together by sheer strength of will that’s always liable to shatter. The Marin of two years ago would have at least made a concerted effort to take it to Rafa in Melbourne. And the kind of errors he routinely made against Mayer were simple flinching at the moment of potential victory, like choking on a point-by-point level, and I just … don’t … understand … why!

Personal problems? Injuries or illnesses we don’t know about? Or he’s tired and burnt out after his first major semi-final, so he has a couple of random losses, and that combined with the unprecedented pressure combines to rock his confidence, and he feels like he can’t play freely, and it just gets worse and worse and worse and every time he thinks he’s getting out of it, he starts thinking too much and loses and it gets worse again?

I have literally been wondering about this for a year, and I’m fed up with it. I don’t care what it is any more. I just want him to stop it. Like, now. Because the way he’s going, he’s going to end up Joe McDisappointment and he is far too good for that. He should be a challenger. He should be a contender. He should be in the top ten. He’s good enough. I know he’s good enough. Honestly, I could just grab him and shake him and yell that into his face until he gets that through his divinely-moulded Croatian head.

…. But then, I know about twenty people who want to do the same thing to me. OK, they wouldn’t call my head ‘divinely-moulded’ – or Croatian, come to that – but the general gist would be the same. You’re good! You can do things! Believe! And frankly, it would just make me want to prove them wrong so they would leave me alone. And then I could go to bed. With a bottle of gin. And a pie. All right, I just talked myself out of being angry with Marin. I suppose I’ll just keep hanging on until he starts winning again, however long it takes. And in the meantime, if he wants to join me in bed with a bottle of gin and a pie, I suppose that would be OK as well.

Er … where was I?

Well done Florian Mayer.

There was a bit of a big-name exodus in Zagreb today in fact. Ivan Dodig took out compatriot Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets, and Richard Gasquet retired after seven games (being in the quarterfinals after Arnaud Clement retired against him).

So Michael Berrer is through to the semi-finals, along with Mayer, Dodig and Garcia-Lopez. Well done all round.

Johannesburg semi-finals, meanwhile, are mainly populated by people you’ve sort of heard of, but only sort of. Two locals, Kevin Anderson and Izak Van der Merwe, are through along with Adrian Mannarino, who’s a yummy Frenchman in a fey sort of way, and Somdev Devvarman, who beat another local, Rik de Vroest.

And in Santiago, Interior Minister-meeting defending champion Thomaz Bellucci lost to certified living Ken doll Fabio Fognini in a fairly thrilling three-set match. Fognini led 4-1 before Bellucci fought back to take it to a tiebreak, only to be taken down by Foggers’ superior speed. Fognini will be joined in the semi-finals by compatriot Potito Starace (yes, Potito Starace has had a better week than Marin), who beat Nalbandian’s conqueror, the suddenly-relevant Horacio ‘Onion’ Zeballos. Also hanging around? Hot Santi Giraldo and Vanilla Robredo. So it’s still a bit sexy.

… And that is what has been happening on the ATP tour.

Posted in florian mayer, ivan ljubicic, johannesburg, marin cilic, richard gasquet, santiago, santiago giraldo, somdev devvarman, zagreb | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

RG Day Two: Mr Wembley, It Happened Again

Posted by gauloises1 on May 24, 2010

Andy Murray d. Richard Gasquet 46 67(5) 64 62 61

I don’t have any idea how to explain this one. I watched (with half an eye, I was at work) as Murray was comprehensively outplayed for two sets, left in a huff after Gasquet got the early break in the third, spent the long journey home composing bitter odes to British failure … only to get home and realise that Murray had, somehow, won. Which was rather confusing. On the other hand, I only saw the last two and a half sets of their Wimbledon 2008 match, so I’ve now seen one whole Gasquet-Murray five-setter.

From the comments I’ve seen, I rather gather that fatigue and that lingering leg injury set in for Gasquet during the latter stages and he simply didn’t have enough in the crucial final stages. (What price a Tuesday start now, FFT?). There’s no denying that the scheduling was extremely harsh on Gasquet, or that he was the better player on the day – from what I saw, Murray was playing perfectly well, but Gasquet had an answer (usually a backhand winner) for everything Murray could challenge him with; an apposite reminder that Gasquet on his day is better than almost anyone else in the world. But leaving aside the particular circumstances of the title in Nice and the injury … why can’t Gasquet close out a five-set match? (Original question.) I don’t know if it’s just that I find his losses over the past couple of years more memorable than they deserve, but these two losses to Murray, and his last two Australian Open defeats (five sets to Gonzo, five sets to Youzhny) seem to encapsulate this stage of his career. Is it insufficient physical conditioning, lack of the killer instinct, or simply bad luck? Am I kicking him when he’s down by even asking the question? Well, it doesn’t really matter today, and Tignor sees hope for the future. Sort of.

Anyway, I’m really glad Murray came through. A lot of people throw around this concept of ‘deserve’, and it’s a tempting one, but there’s no cosmic justice in tennis. Murray may not have been the better player, but he’s the one going through to the next round and he must have done something right, even if it was only hanging in there until the job was done.

End soliloquy. Let’s have a picspam.

 

A wiser, sadder man.

Well, a more tired man, anyway.

Posted in andy murray, french open, richard gasquet | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Nice and Not So Nice.

Posted by gauloises1 on May 23, 2010

It’s all a bit up and down for Richard Gasquet at the moment – and, indeed, always. First of all, he beat Fernando Verdasco in the finals of Nice to claim his sixth career title and his first since September 2007, finding form and building up momentum just ahead of that thing that’s happening in Paris. All of which is good.

Unfortunately for wee Richie, he sustained a leg injury doing it and has had to hotfoot it back to Paris in time for his first-round match. Which is against Andy Murray.

Apparently Gasquet had requested a Tuesday match, but the FFT was insistent that all the matches in the top half of the draw should be concluded by the end of the day on Monday. It seems a little harsh, but there are also good logistical reasons for it.

Anyway, Gasquet-Murray should be the match of the day tomorrow and I don’t know which way I think it’s going to go. When I first saw the draw, I threw up my hands and started resigning myself to an extremely early exit for Murray; we all know Gasquet’s got boatloads of talent, he plays really well on clay, he isn’t scared of Murray, and unlike the Scot he is both in form and on a roll. I don’t know how much difference fatigue will really make when weighed against all of that. I do feel that at all costs, Murray has to stop Gasquet racing away with it in the beginning. Just a thought.

V for an unlikely victory. C’mon!

Posted in andy murray, french open, nice, richard gasquet, titlists | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

D Cup: WTFrance?

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Seriously. First of all we have them looking kind of cool and sophisticated and sexy at the official dinner:

Then a mere matter of days later, we have … I don’t even know how to describe this. What are they doing? Why are they doing it? All I know is that it appears to be happening in the showers:

And that Richie dropped the soap.

(photos & humour courtesy of crystaleyesd)

Posted in davis cup, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, richard gasquet | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

D Cup: France 3, Germany 0

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Congratulations to la belle France. And I do mean exactly that. They were probably the most attractive squad of any nation playing this weekend and will be picspammed accordingly.

In amongst that lot: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra. Easily the nation with the greatest strength in depth (aside from Spain, obviously), they’ve all too often suffered meltdowns and embarrassing defeats in the past. But it was plain sailing this weekend, after Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled off singles victories against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Benjamin Becker on Friday to put France 2-0 up.

… ably supported from the bench by Gasquet and Gilles, of course:

With Arnaud Clement not on the squad, it was up to Davis Cup debutante Julien Benneteau to partner Michael Llodra in today’s doubles and he was really impressive. Apart from a third-set wobble, the pair fairly cruised against a German pair who never looked like winning.

After they finally closed the match out at 75 in the fourth, the whole team celebrated awesomely. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story …

OK, that was a lot of pictures. But come on, how often do you get to see all these guys so happy? You carry on with your bad selves, Team France. They’ll meet either (probably) Spain or Switzerland next, so they’d better enjoy it while they can …

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  7-6(5)
R2 – J.TSONGA (FRA) def. B.BECKER (GER)
6-3  6-2  6-7(2)  6-3
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. C.KAS / P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  1-6  7-5

Posted in davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, richard gasquet | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

The Withdrawal Method: Gasquet, Chardy, Hewitt

Posted by gauloises1 on January 30, 2010

Richard Gasquet has reportedly been forced to withdraw from Santiago with a micro-tear in his back (unless Google Translate is lying to me), while Jeremy Chardy won’t be defending his final points in Johannesburg due to an injured wrist. Which is all a bit crap, really.

Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt has announced that he has had surgery on a torn right hip he injured during preparations for the Hopman Cup, playing through pain in Perth and Melbourne before having surgery in Hobart two days ago. He’ll be off the tour until the clay season.

Posted in jeremy chardy, johannesburg, lleyton hewitt, richard gasquet, santiago, the withdrawal method | 3 Comments »

AO Day Two: Epic

Posted by gauloises1 on January 19, 2010

You just knew that Gasquet vs Youzhny was going to be a cracker (or a clusterfuck, depending on whether you see depth or a lottery) and it didn’t disappoint.

Forget Ernie; Richard is the real king of beautiful losses. Today came courtesy of Mikhail Youzhny, 67(9) 46 76(2) 76(4) 64, and I personally wanted to take it to bed with me. Youzhny lost two tight sets, was cramping and failed to serve out the third, only to take advantage of an error-strewn tiebreak from Gasquet. As his cramps grew worse, he came back from 0-3 down, saved two match points and then somehow recovered a break in the fifth to receive it out. 

The whole thing was terribly manly (well, except for Richard), gave the officials a chance to try out the new cramping rules, and all in all was fun for all concerned.

Except Richard.

Posted in australian open, mikhail youzhny, richard gasquet | Tagged: , | 16 Comments »

Baghdatis Wins Sydney Title, Is Heartwarming

Posted by gauloises1 on January 17, 2010

Marcos Baghdatis won the feelgood final of 2010 so far, beating Richard Gasquet 64 76(2) at the Medibank International.

I thought this was a really entertaining match between two players with a ton of talent and more than enough mental fragility to have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation to find out who was going to implode first. Perhaps unsuprisingly, it was Gasquet who was flakier, playing an appalling service game to surrender the break when serving for the second set and collapsing like a flan in a cupboard in the tiebreak, double-faulting twice to surrender the minibreak and then hand it back.

Great performance by Baggy, though, and he earned major points (not the ranking ones, the really important NB ones) by (a) donating $5,000 from his prize money to disaster relief for Haiti and (b) responding to Richard’s apology for his bad English during his runner-up speech by starting his own speech with “I think your English is sexy … the girls like it, so don’t worry about that.”

He stopped short of adding “and the coked-up ones might even give you a kiss with open mouths lasting 10 or 15 seconds”. But that’s what we were all thinking.

Posted in marcos baghdatis, richard gasquet, sydney, titlists | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Sydney: Baghdatis, Gasquet Into Final

Posted by gauloises1 on January 15, 2010

How about that for a final to look forward to? Two of the most talented and volatile players on the tour, each pursuing their own redemption narrative. Great stuff.

Gasquet had the more straightforward victory, overcoming fellow Frenchman and giant-killer Julien Benneteau 64 75.

Manfully attempts ‘brooding intensity’.

Much better.

Baggy’s progress was a bit more … topsy-turvy.

If you rotate that picture 180 degrees, it looks like he’s desperately trying to stop the ceiling from crushing him, a la one of the Indiana Jones films, you know, the one where that happens. Anyway, he vanquished the Man Who Socks Forgot, 64 67(7) 76(5).

We heart you too, Marcos.

Posted in marcos baghdatis, richard gasquet, sydney | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

 
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