SWISS INDOORS BASEL 2013
Physicality & Consistency Giving Gasquet Big Finish
by ATP Staff|
In his best season on the ATP World Tour since 2007, Richard Gasquet is on the cusp of securing one of the coveted eight berths at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Frenchman is currently ninth in the Emirates ATP Race To London after winning his third title of the season in Moscow (d. Kukushkin) and credited consistency and his physical improvement with the strides he’s made in 2013.
"I've been playing well,” Gasquet told ATPWorldTour.com. “It's true I've been consistent, especially in the big tournaments. I played well in the [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000s and I've won three tournaments. It's been a big season for me; my best since 2007.”
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The 27-year-old Gasquet is close to reaching the 50 match wins milestone for the first time in his career (48-18 match record). Among those wins was a run to the US Open semi-finals, where he defeated David Ferrer, in five sets, for just the second time in 10 meetings to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2007 at Wimbledon (l. to Federer). His run ended against Rafael Nadal, but the confidence he took from it has seen him make a big push for the Final Showdown in London in the final weeks of the season.
"I've worked a lot this year, especially physically,” said Gasquet. “It's important to do that because the season is very long, so you need to be strong physically. The improvement showed at the US Open, playing in the big matches in a row. That's why I'm playing better and in the Top 10 now. I will try to keep going and keep this position. It's difficult. A lot of guys are playing well.
"I took big confidence from the US Open because I beat big guys in five sets, two in a row (against Milos Raonic and Ferrer). So, for sure I took a lot of confidence after this tournament. It's very difficult to say if I am better now [than in 2007]. I think so. I'm better physically and have more experience than before.”
The Frenchman would seem to have hit form at just the right time, reaching the semi-finals or better in four of his past five tournaments. He competes this week at the Swiss Indoors Basel, where he will look to lengthen the gap between himself and countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is not playing. His final push comes next week on home soil at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, where he reached the semi-finals in 2007 before travelling to Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai as one of the elite eight.
“I want to reach the [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals],” said Gasquet. “I will try to go. It's difficult; there are a lot of players who can qualify so we'll see what will happen. I'll try my best until the end of the season and the best players will go there.”