Richard Gasquet from France has emerged a tournament winner for the first time in three years as the HEAD racquet rebel won the clay title in Nice a day before the start of the French Open. It's been a long road back for Gasquet, who fought through in front of a home crowd to defeat Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5). Gasquet won his last title on hard-court in Mumbai in 2007. His only previous clay trophy came in the Swiss alpine resort of Gstaad in summer, 2006.
The contest was up-and-down and filled with momentum shifts. Gasquet, playing with a YouTek Extreme Pro, served for the match but was broken to love, then ended up fighting his way to the victory in the deciding third set. "It was an incredible match," said the Frenchman "I didn’t see myself coming back when I was in the third set.
"I saw myself really far from victory. I was a little tense while serving, which also happened to me in the second set. I couldn’t have been more tired at the end and I really gave everything to the match." The victory in Nice gives No. 68 Gasquet a confidence boost for Roland Garros, where he last competed in 2007 due to injuries and other problems. It was only a month ago that Spain's Verdasco defeated Gasquet in Barcelona.
"It's my sixth title; it's been a long time since I won my last ATP World Tour title. I’ll remember the match for the rest of my life, that’s for sure," said the winner. "It was a match of enormous intensity and being able to comeback was special.”
Meanwhile World No. 49 Horacio Zeballos captured Argentina’s fourth title at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship as he beat American Robby Ginepri 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 Sunday in Dusseldorf to give the South Americans an unassailable 2-0 lead.
“It was a tough match," reflected Zeballos." The final is not like other matches, you have more pressure. But I think I was cool and played with confidence. It was important for me. It’s not just for us; it’s also for the country so we are really happy to be the champion of this tournament.”