A meeting between a pair of Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau is scheduled to take place in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Monday afternoon. Both players had a good week in Toronto, even though Gasquet was forced to withdraw from the tournament, and will be looking to carry that forth into the final warm-up event ahead of the US Open. Gasquet leads the head-to-head series 3-0.
Since arriving on hard courts this season, Richard Gasquet has reached the quarter-final in Bogota, the semi-final in Washington and withdrew in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto after big wins over Vasek Pospisil and Ivo Karlovic. After Gasquet had lost to Pospisil in the Washington semi-final, he proceeded to avenge that loss in his next match on court to dispatch the Canadian favourite on home soil. Had he not been forced to withdraw with an injury, he could have ben poised to make a deeper run in the tournament.
Julien Bennetau also made a surprising run at the Toronto Masters event this season, as he upset Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round before a second upset over Ernests Gulbis. He would lose to Milos Raonic in the following round but not without pushing the match to a deciding set.
While Gasquet leads the head-to-head series 3-0, if it not in perfect health for this match, he may find his fellow countryman lurking in the shadows awaiting the upset. They two have only met on hard courts and through their three meetings between 2007-13, Benneteau has only managed just one set.
Prediction: Richard Gasquet in Three Sets