For someone who has played no clay court matches ahead of the French Open, Richard Gasquet has managed to produce some impressive tennis in his opening two match-ups. Next for the Frenchman is a tough encounter with Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, whom he is well acquainted with on the professional tour. The two athletes have met on 13 separate occasions on the professional tour, with Verdasco leading the series 7-6. Check out the Gasquet vs Verdasco Head to Head.
The world No. 13 reached the third round of the French Open with a 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 win over an in-form Carlos Berlocq. Gasquet hit 53 winners and 33 unforced errors to prevail in two hours and 42 minutes.
“On clay, I’m not so well trained,” said Gasquet. “I don’t have much practice behind me. It’s very difficult. You have to use your mental strength. But right from the first set, it was difficult already, but I stayed in the match. I played in a very serious way. I tried not to get unnerved. It could not have gone better than winning in three sets today.”
His opponent, Fernando Verdasco, rallied from two sets down to defeat Pablo Cuevas 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 in his second round match-up on Thursday afternoon. The Spaniard needed a little less than four hours of court time to set up the encounter with the Frenchman. The world No. 25 has never been past the fourth round in Roland Garros but has already beaten his 2013 performance, where he lost in the second round to Janko Tipsarevic.
This marks the fourteenth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Verdasco leads the head-to-head series 7-6, with a recent victory at Indian Wells giving him the edge in the series. This will likely be a hard-fought and entertaining battle, and while it is tempting to pick the Spaniard in an upset, Gasquet has looked great in his first two matches and appears to be in shape to make a deeper run in the tournament.
Prediction: Richard Gasquet in Five Sets