A first time encounter between top seed Richard Gasquet (Player Bio) and World No. 84 Evgeny Donskoy (Player Bio) of Russia takes place tomorrow afternoon on Centre Court at the Kremlin Cup. It is one of Gasquet’s final opportunities to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour finals and he will be looking for a successful run in Moscow. Check out the Gasquet vs Donskoy Head to Head.
The Frenchman was the first high-profile exit last week in the Shanghai Rolex Masters, when he lost his opening round match against Canadian No. 2 Vasek Pospisil. The loss hurt his quest for a qualification spot in the year-end championships, as he will have to reach the finals of the Moscow Open to ensure that Milos Raonic, who is trailing him by fewer than 50 points, does not overtake him in the race to the finals. Prior to that unexpected loss in the opening round in Shanghai, Gasquet had reached the semifinals of the US Open (where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal), the semifinals in Bangkok as well as in Beijing (where he lost to champion Novak Djokovic). The 27-year-old holds a 33-11 record on hard courts heading into this contest and will need to play his best tennis if he intends on reaching the finals of this tournament.
World No. 84 Evgeny Donskoy picked up an inspiring opening round upset win over Marcos Baghdatis to advance to the second round of the Moscow Open. The Russian put in a valiant effort in front of his hometown crowd to defeat the Cypriot in three sets. He will need to dig even deeper to vanquish top-ten player Richard Gasquet. Donskoy has had a relatively successful year on the tour as he beat compatriot Mikhail Youzhny in the second round of the Australian Open 2R, before losing to Nishikori in his next match He also reached the third round of the US Open in his Flushing Meadows debut, defeating Jurgen Melzer and Peter Gojowczyk before losing to former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the third round. He reached a career-high of 65 in July but has since dropped 19 places in the world rankings.
The second round of the Kremlin Cup marks the first ever professional encounter between these two athletes. While Gasquet is vastly more experienced on the ATP tour and has played some of his best tennis this season, his first round exit last week leaves slight doubt regarding his abilities tomorrow. Donskoy, who is competing on his native soil, will be looking to please the local crowd and send a Russian into the third round of the tournament. It should be an intriguing match-up, and tense one for French fans nervously awaiting Gasquet’s potential qualification into the year-end finals.