Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Richard Gasquet celebrates after beating Benoit Paire during the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. Sylvain Thomas / AFP
Richard Gasquet celebrates after beating Benoit Paire during the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. Sylvain Thomas / AFP

Nice to see second-rung players such as Richard Gasquet coming first

Frenchman has the best singles record in mens tennis this season at 14-1 and Nicolas Almagro gets ready to defend a title.

Sure, most of the big guns are just getting started. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are playing this week in Sao Paulo and Rotterdam, respectively, while Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are still cooling their heels from the Australian Open two weeks ago.

In other words, it is a nice time for the second-tier notables in the game to make some early noise.

In Sao Paolo this week, the scrappy world No 11 Nicolas Almagro, who reached the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in December, defends his title, and last weekend, the 10th-ranked Frenchman Richard Gasquet got a jump on everybody with his second win of 2013.

Gasquet has the best singles record in men's tennis this season at 14-1 after destroying countryman Benoit Paire, 6-2, 6-3, to win the Open Sud de France title in Montpellier.

As for quick starter, it took Gasquet all of 69 minutes to dismantle Paire. He is playing in Rotterdam this week as well, where the field is a bit deeper than in France.

"I realise this is my best season start ever and I just want to keep going and stay healthy," said Gasquet, 26, who won in Doha last month and has nine ATP singles titles, including three in the 2006 season.

The open auditions among players such as David Ferrer, Juan Del Potro and Almagro for the perceived second-row seats behind the Big Four might be the most competitive battle to watch as the season plays out.

selling@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

What Star Wars fans say is going on in Abu Dhabi’s desert

We may still not know exactly what The National caught pictures of in the Abu Dhabi desert last week, but the online community has had plenty to say. Here are some of the best bits.

 Courtesy Al Ittihad

Time frame: It’s all going swimmingly

Built on what was originally a public park, Ain Al Faida - the flowing source - became one of the country’s first resort hotels when it opened in the mid 1970s.

 The iconic Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Above ground work is set to begin on the tower which is expected to be taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Rendering courtesy EC Harris/Mace

Saudi’s Kingdom Tower set to go skywards as it aims for world’s tallest building tag

Above ground construction work due to start next week in Jeddah, after months of testing and preparation work.

 Jia Ruhan sang as a guest singer in famous pianist Robert Wells's concert 'rockabilly-medley' in November 2012. Handout

Meet the pop star who is key to China’s superpower ambitions

Before Beijing can achieve its ambitions to be a superpower it will need to become a respected soft power. That's where Jia Ruhan comes in.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National