French No. 1 Richard Gasquet has been forced to withdraw from the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters citing a back injury. The world No. 10 revealed the news on Saturday afternoon ahead of the opening day of the event.
Gasquet had taken time off to rest his back, which meant he missed the France-Germany Davis Cup quarter-final tie in the process. After resting, it appears it was not enough to recover from the injury.
“I only picked up the racket again on Tuesday, very steadily. But I’ve been in pain since yesterday and today, after 20 minutes of training, I couldn’t carry on,” Gasquet said on Saturday. “I could hardly even carry my bag. I thought things would be fine after 15 days without doing anything. But no, not at all.”
Gasquet’s withdrawal certainly shook up the draw, as French No. 2 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has now been given the 9th seed spot, and will no longer meet Ernests Gulbis in the opening round on Monday. The Frenchman now has a bye into the second round, while Gulbis will now be scheduled to face the resurgent Alexandr Dolgopolov instead.
Gasquet is 13-7 this season and has been sidelined since losing to 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Sony Open.