Gasquet banks on new style of play at French
Richard Gasquet hopes some tactical tweaks, his improved
fitness, and maybe a lucky red shirt will help him go deep at the
French Open this year.
Fresh from a win over Roger Federer at the Rome Masters last
week, the former world No. 7 will start his campaign at his home
Grand Slam tournament against Radek Stepanek, an opponent he hasn’t
beaten in two meetings.
The 13th-seeded Gasquet said Friday he is ready to play more
attacking tennis on the Roland Garros red clay where he has never
advanced past the third round.
Now working with new coach Riccardo Piatti, the Frenchman said
that the encouraging string of results which saw him beat Albert
Montanes, Igor Andreev, Federer, and Thomas Berdych in Italy
resulted from a more attacking mindset.
”Sometimes I play less well, so I play behind the baseline,”
Gasquet said. ”It’s not really my best type of tennis, but
sometimes I don’t feel my shots are good enough. It’s not the best
solution, so I try to move forward to the net so that I can have
In his bid to relaunch his career, the 13th-seeded Gasquet also
hired former French player Sebastien Grosjean, whose attacking
style helped him reach the semifinals at three different Grand
”With Sebastien as well I feel good,” Gasquet said. ”And I
play better, I think. Now time is flying by and I’ve gained
experience. I’ll try and continue on the same tracks. In the
future, this is the type of style I need to have. To move forward
is what I need to do, to move into the court.”
Regarded as a potential world No. 1 when he turned professional
nine years ago, Gasquet has struggled to live up to expectations.
His career hit a low in 2009 when he missed the French Open after
serving a a 2 1/2-month suspension for a positive test for
But the 24-year-old Gasquet seems to be on his way back. He
reached 14th this week for his best ATP ranking since October 2008.
In Rome, only world No. 1 Rafael Nadal was able to stop him, in the
Gasquet is adamant he has the weapons to compete with players
from the Top 10 but acknowledges he need to find better consistency
to close the gap with the best.
”You have to do the same all the time for all the matches,”
Gasquet said. ”This is what they manage to do. This is what I will
try and manage to do. I didn’t play that bad since the beginning of
the season. I have to try and continue this way.”
Last year in Paris, Gasquet lost in the first round after
running out of steam and squandering a two-set lead over Andy
”I think this year I would have beaten him,” Gasquet said. ”I
play better, that’s true. Last year I was tired. This time it’s OK.
I played well in Rome, I could rest for a week and practice, as
Known for being superstitious, Gasquet said he may well wear the
red shirt he donned when he beat Federer in Italy.
”I try not to think about these things, the lucky charms,”
Gasquet said. ”I played with it for a while, that’s true. Maybe I
will continue. Why not?”