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Gasquet, Falla Play Atop Monserrate

Bogota, Colombia

Colombian Alejandro Falla gave Richard Gasquet a taste of his hometown on Monday, taking the top-seeded Frenchman at this week’s Claro Open Colombia to Monserrate, where they enjoyed spectacular views of Bogota.

“It’s one of the greatest things to do in Bogota,” said Falla. “This place is really known, a lot of people come up. It’s a little higher than Bogota [which] is already high, but it was nice. The purpose was to bring Richard and get him to know the city from the top. It was an experience.”

Monserrate, which rises 3,152 metres above sea level in the centre of Bogota, is a pilgrim destination, with its church housing a shrine devoted to “El Señor Caído” (Fallen Lord).

“It was very nice. It was an amazing experience to go there,” said Gasquet. “It’s my first time in Colombia, and the view was especially amazing. It was one of my best experience of sightseeing because it was incredible to be there.”

The two players also took part in a mini-tennis session on top of Monserrate – an experience Gasquet relished. “We are not used to play on that court with that view of Bogota. It was amazing for me,” he said.

Gasquet marks his return to this region 10 years after his last appearance in South America, and will play his opening match against the winner between Australian Sam Groth and Colombian wild card Juan Sebastian Cabal later this week.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’m practicing every day. Of course the altitude is difficult, but I try to practice every day to feel better. My first match will be tough, but I think I’ll be ready.”

Falla, last year’s finalist, will face Japan’s Tatsuma Ito on Tuesday. 

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