Spain’s Feliciano Lopez is back in the final at Eastbourne, where he is defending the title he won last season, this time against a formidable opponent in Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman is undefeated against Lopez with a 5-0 record in the head-to-head series. Their most recent match-up took place over four years ago, so it will be interesting to see the difference those years made on their respective games.
Richard Gasquet missed most of the clay court season apart from Roland Garros with a back injury, but appeared to be back in form and comfortable this week at the Aegon International, where he defeated Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final.
“I played a good match today. It was important to play well because Denis is dangerous,” explained the 28 year old. “The key on grass is to serve and return well. I managed to do it. I’m very happy with the way I played, because it’s always difficult to play on grass… You need to be strong on every point.”
Gasquet is not looking to win his 11th ATP World Tour final and his third title at this particular event. He is 15-2 at the Aegon International.
Feliciano Lopez finished a quarter-final match against Jeremy Chardy that carried over from Thursday, and then defeated Sam Querrey in 77 minutes too secure entry into the final. This is his second final in as many weeks, as he held a match point against Grigor Dimitrov last week.
This is the sixth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Gasquet holding a 5-0 record against his Spanish opponent. The last time they met was four years ago, which renders that stat useless. While both are great on this surface, Lopez for his volleys, and Gasquet for his timing, Lopez appeared to be tired from his consecutive matches and that could make all the difference if this match goes the distance.
Prediction: Richard Gasquet in Three Sets
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