PARIS, May 25, 2016
Richard Gasquet emerged victorious from the battle between former Roland Garros junior boys’ champions with Bjorn Fratangelo. The latter earned the USTA French Open wild card this year. The pair faced off for the first time with the better ending for the Frenchman, winning 6-1, 7-6, 6-3.
Gasquet won 73% of his first service points, hitting two aces and 41 winners. The ninth seed converted four of his 11 break point opportunities to advance after two hours and 10 minutes.
“It’s always incredible here in Paris because they really know tennis. They like it. They cheer for French players. Every year it is the same. Last year, this year, I remember on this court against Wawrinka, it was crazy. It’s always incredible for me to play here. That’s why I really want to play well,” Gasquet was happy with his performance on court Suzanne Lenglen.
Gasquet will take on Nick Kyrgios next. The pair will meet for the seventh time with the Frenchman leading 4-2 in head to head records.
“It’s quite incredible. We have played each other many times. He’s been in the circuit, on the tour for two, three years now. I think I’m probably the player he’s played the most, which is quite surprising. It’s funny how we keep playing each other. And every time we play, the matches are pretty crazy. In Wimbledon, the two matches were crazy, and I hope it will be the same. Hopefully I’ll win,” Gasquet told.
The 21-year-old Australian equaled his best Roland Garros performance by reaching the third round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Dutch lucky loser Igor Sijsling in 70 minutes.
“I knew it was going to be tough. He’s obviously played a lot of matches here already. I knew what my game plan was going to be. I’m really happy with the way I performed today. I thought that I found my form from the back of the court. I returned a lot better today than I did in the first round,” Kyrgios told and was also a bit surprise by the quick result.
“You don’t really see too many of those matches go that quick, but, I thought he was really aggressive from the get-go. Every forehand he had, he was trying to really pull the trigger. I didn’t feel he felt comfortable extending the rallies. I thought there was going to be a lot more rallies today. I thought I served well and I returned well. I just played good tactical tennis.”
This year in Paris, Kyrgios is appearing at this 12th Grand Slam tournament.
“I just feel a lot more experienced at the Grand Slams. I feel like I’m still young, but I have played a lot of Grand Slam matches now. I feel like a lot of the players know that I feel comfortable playing on the big stage, and I think it’s just important to, if you can conserve energy in these matches, when you get to the second week, if you get there, you feel a lot more refreshed and more prepared for those tough matches.”