US Open – Richard Gasquet: “A great victory and a reward to play Nadal on the Central”

US Open - Richard Gasquet: "A great victory and a reward to play Nadal on the Central"
Grandpa Richard resists, and even better than that. Faced with the youth and consistency of Miomir Kecmanovic, the French veteran assumed Thursday evening an offensive strategy (61 winning moves) to circumvent the hard law of passing time. So here is the Biterrois in the 3rd round of the US Open, a first for him since 2018. He joins Corentin Moutet there, as one of the two Blue survivors of the men’s singles at this stage. So inevitably, he had reason to be satisfied.

Especially since Richard Gasquet is now more than aware of his physical limits. He was even afraid that they would be prohibitive against a metronome from the baseline of this caliber, hence a radical tactical approach to believe in it.

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I was not well after the first round (won in more than three hours 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 against the Japanese Taro Daniel, editor’s note), I got sunstroke and in the evening I was dead. So before the game (Thursday), I had very bad feelings, I was a little sick. So when I arrived, I said to myself: ‘I have to attack’. It’s a big victory for me, because he’s a great player“, he considered in front of the journalists after his performance.

I did the first set and it gave me a steely mind

It must be said that his bold bias has more than paid off. With 21 points scored at the net out of 33 climbs (64% success), Gasquet perfectly knew how to deprive Kecmanovic of the pace he loves so much from the baseline. But from the third set, the physique of the Biterrois gave serious signs of weakness, we even thought that the reservoir was exhausted. And that’s when the head took over, debunking the stereotypes that have plagued his career about his shortcomings in this area.

The conditions were favorable to me: a lot of wind, the fast court, it changed my game. I don’t change my shoes, not my socks… it’s stupid, but it’s much less difficult on the physical side for me, even though the game was tough. I had a little sore knee in the third set but managed to put up a fight in the fourth. I did the first set and it gave me courage. You don’t let go afterwards, you have a moral of steel“, he still launched.

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The rest is a reunion with Rafael Nadal that we could dream of during the draw. They are now a reality. We know only too well the one-way record of their clashes (17-0 for the Majorcan), but Gasquet is delighted to find the one he has known since his youngest classes. A world now separates them in the standings and Nadal is in the running for the Petit Slam, but the Frenchman, still as passionate about tennis, also still plays for these matches, these great opportunities which are becoming rare at the twilight of his career.

It’s a reward to play it there on Central. We are both 36 years old, but in terms of recovery, we are not equal. I’m going there to play a big game and you never know what can happen, he said. In Australia, if (Denis) Shapovalov hadn’t been stupid, he could have won. At Wimbledon, he hurt his abs… A tennis match, you have to go, you never know what can happen. ” A gala match, even against his pet peeve, you can’t refuse.

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