Richard Gasquet looking forward to 2018, now injury-free - UBITENNIS
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Richard Gasquet looking forward to 2018, now injury-free

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Gasquet feels ready for a good campaign in 2018 (Zimbio.com)

He has been around for years, but Richard Gasquet is still optimistic that he can produce quality tennis. The Frenchman may have seen his ranking slip over the 2017 season, but feels that he is ready to do well in 2018. The veteran defeated the in-form Matthew Ebden at the Kooyang Classic 6-4, 7-6.

 

Gasquet speaking after the match: “It’s a very nice match and great preparation for Melbourne, it’s hot the conditions and that’s what I need.”

“I’m feeling great physically, no injuries and feeling good and that’s the most important thing for me, I’m ready to play my best tennis. “You know it’s always nice to play here (Kooyong). I played here when I was 17 years old, I have many memories playing on this court and for Melbourne, it’s the best preparation for me because the week before it’s hard to play a tournament. “It’s great here with the crowd and good players.”

Gasquet had an injury ravaged 2017 season. Appendicitis forced him to miss the Masters in Indian Wells and Miami, and a thigh injury forced him to retire at Roland Garros against compatriot Gael Monfils. And abdominal injury also hurt him later in the season. Gasquet was able to salvage the season somewhat, as he and his French teammates sealed the Davis Cup with a home victory over Belgium.

Ebden, meanwhile, was looking forward to completing his preparation for the Australian Open despite the defeat: “It’s just recovery now after six days of practice and matches. The next few days is about rest and working on the body to get everything ready for the next couple of weeks and a bit of practice on the weekend.”

Ebden has had a good week after unexpectedly beating former US Open champion Marin Cilic earlier in the week. Gasquet will start his Australian Open campaign against Blaz Kavcic, whilst Ebden features against 16th seeded American John Isner.

 

 

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Argentina beats Chile 3-0 in South American clash

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Argentina beat Chile 3-0 in the South American tie at the Rakuten Davis Cup Final at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman claimed singles win to give Argentina a 2-0 lead over Chile

Pella won 83 % of his first serve points to beat Nicolas Jerry 6-4 6-3 in 75 minutes in the opening match of the Group C on Centre Court.

Pella faced only one break and broke serve three times. The Argentine got the first break in the second game to build up a 5-2 lead before Jarry broke back in the ninth game. Pella broke serve in the 10th game, as Jarry netted a forehand.

Both players went on serve in the first seven games of the second set. Pella broke serve at 4-3, as Jarry made a double fault. Pella closed out the match with a service winner.

“It was unbelievable because it was a very tough match for me. I was very nervous during the entire match. Madrid is a difficult city if you are nervous to play because there is a little bit of altitude, so I was struggling a bit but I fought for every ball and that was the key to get the win”, said Pella.

Schwartzman cruised past Christian Garin 6-2 6-2 in 73 minutes in the second singles match to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. Schwartzman broke three times to claim the opening set 6-2 after half an hour. The Argentine raced out to a 5-0 lead with a double break. Garin pulled one break back in the seventh game. Scwartzman hit a backhand winner at 5-2 to seal the second set with another break.

“It’s the end of the season but I played one of the best matches for sure of the year, maybe in my career. I think Guido helped me a lot to be more confident in this match and I played unreal tennis”, said Schwartzman.

 

Maximo Gonzales and Leonardo Mayer beat Nicolas Jarry and Hans Podlipnik gave Argentina a 3-0 point with a 6-3 7-5 in the doubles match with two breaks in fourth and eighth games of the first set and eleventh games of the second set.

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Russia opens the Davis Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Croazia

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Russia beat defending champions from Croatia 3-0 thanks to the two singles wins of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov on Centre Court of the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Rublev cruised past Borna Gojo 6-3 6-3 in the opening match before Karen Khachanov came back from one set down to beat Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

Khachanov and Rublev returned to the court to beat specialists Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to give Russia a 3-0 win.

“It was important to start well. I had some opportunities and took them. I am really happy we won this tie”, said Khachanov.

Belgium (two-time finalists) beat Colombia 2-1 on Court 3. In the opening match Davis Cup specialist Steve Darcis cruised past Santiago Giraldo 6-3 6-2. David Goffin came back from one set down to beat Daniel Elahi Galan 3-6 6-3 6-3. Last week’s ATP Finals semifinalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah won the doubles match for the Colombian team beating Sander Gillie and Joran Vliegen 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

“The challenge was to fight against myself. It was not easy. Sometimes you have to fight. I am happy the way I fought. I did not give up. That’s the most important thing because I am playing for my country”,said Goffin.

 

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Jannik Sinner beats Antoine Hoang to reach the final in Ortisei

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Last week’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner beat Frenchman Antoine Hoang 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to reach the final at the ATP Challenger in Ortisei.

 

Sinner won the first set 6-3 with his only break in the fourth game. The Italian 18-year player went down a break to trail 1-4 in the second set, but he won three consecutive games to draw level to 4-4. Hoang earned three set points in the 12th game on Sinner’s serve, but he did not convert them. Sinner won the tie-break 7-4 with his only mini-break. Sinner is projected to improve his best ranking to world number 83 and could reach the 78th place, if he wins the Ortisei title in front of his fans.

Sinner will face Austria’s Sebastian Ofner, who beat Luca Vanni 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3). Vanni did not face any break points but he was not able to convert eight break points, including five set points in the second set.

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