FRENCH ROOTING FOR GASQUET DESPITE POOR RECORD AT ROLAND GARROS
PARIS — It has been a long and hard road back to form for Richard Gasquet, but once again this year he enters the French Open as the flag-bearer of home hopes.
That stems from his top performance at the Rome Masters earlier this month where he defeated Roger Federer and Thomas Berdych before stretching Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
With Gael Monfils battling injuries and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon never entirely at home on clay, Gasquet has emerged as the player seen as most likely to emulate Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win at Roland Garros in 1983.
He has worked his way back with the aid of coach Eric De- blicker and with retired former French Open semi-finalist Sebastien Grosjean.
Still, former boy-wonder Gasquet is reluctant to see himself once again put up on a pedestal at Roland Garros, knowing that his record in the tournament to date is abysmal.
“It’s ups and downs and ups and downs all the time. It’s nor- mal, you know,” he said.
“If I happen to be defeated by (Radek) Stepanek (in first round), I’m not going to be that much covered by the media.”
“But if I win again, you know, I’m not asking ng myself these types of questions. stions. I’ll try and do what I can n little by little. I’ll try and not think hink about this,” he said. — Sapa-AFP. apa-AFP.