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Gasquet Makes Strong Start; Isner Sets Harrison Clash

Paris, France

Gasquet© AFP/Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet dropped just eight games in his Roland Garros opener.

World No. 9 Richard Gasquet dropped just eight games on Monday as he began his Roland Garros campaign with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky. The Frenchman has never been past the fourth round in Paris, and will need to come through a section of the draw that features Stanislas Wawrinka and Jerzy Janowicz if he is to set a possible quarter-final clash with Rafael Nadal this year.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on myself," said Gasquet. "I want to do my best. I want to have a nice tournament. But I have gained maturity and it's something I enjoy, being here. I know the crowd is supporting me. I want to give my best tennis and we will see how far I can go."

The 26-year-old Gasquet has a 26-8 match record on the season, highlighted by winning two ATP World Tour titles at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Davydenko) and the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Paire).

John Isner will face Ryan Harrison in an all-American second-round contest after defeating Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in just under two hours. The 28-year-old Isner has struggled for form on clay in recent weeks, winning just one match in four tournaments since winning the Houston title (d. Almagro), but he fired 14 aces and broke serve four times to beat Berlocq in their first meeting. 

"I feel like I've been playing well," said Isner. "The last two matches that I've lost, it was the case where I won more points than my opponent but lost the match.  Felt like I really have been hitting the ball well ever since I've been over here in Europe. Just not really putting it together. So I just tried to stay positive."

Isner has a 3-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against his 21-year-old countryman, including a straight-sets victory on clay this year in Houston. World No. 92 Harrison claimed just his fifth win of the season as he defeated Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4). 

Looking ahead to the Harrison clash, Isner said, "I feel like he's starting to turn the corner with his season here. He hasn't played too well since Australia, but he's a very talented player. It'll be a good match. Just as anyone I play, I'm going to have to play well. If I don't play well, then things may not go my way. Just got to keep on doing what I'm doing."

Jerzy Janowicz, the No. 21 seed from Poland, won his first main draw match at Roland Garros as he dismissed Spain’s Albert Ramos 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3. The 22 year old made his breakthrough in the city of Paris last November at the BNP Paribas Masters, reaching the final of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament as a qualifier (l. to Ferrer).

Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis set a second-round clash with Gael Monfils after dismissing Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3 in two hours. The No. 40-ranked Gulbis is looking to reach the third round of a major for the first time since advancing to the Roland Garros quarter-finals five years ago (l. to Djokovic).

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