Alexander Zverev vs Richard Gasquet ATP Monte-Carlo tennis preview, predictions and tips: Current future of tennis faces former future of tennis in Monte-Carlo quarter-finals

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 20 Apr 2018
  • Alexander Zverev vs Richard Gasquet is live from Monte-Carlo around 3.30pm local time on Friday (2.30pm BST)
  • Zverev won all three of their previous meetings in 2017
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Monte-Carlo online at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Alexander Zverev (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev targets his first Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-final on Friday when he takes on former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet.

Watch and bet on Zverev vs Gasquet live from Monte-Carlo online at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify). Their quarter-final clash begins around 3.30pm local time on Friday (2.30pm BST).

World No. 4 Alexander Zverev continues his quest for a third ATP Masters 1000 title on Friday against French veteran Richard Gasquet. Zverev has been gradually building up his form over the last month or so, backing up his run to the Miami Open final by reaching the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo for the first time in his young career - can he keep going and make a maiden semi-final? Gasquet, a man who knows all about pressure and expectation from a young age, has enjoyed some of his most memorable career moments in Monte-Carlo, and after becoming the first Frenchman in the Open Era to register 500 match wins on Thursday, he will be gunning for his first semi-final at the tournament since 2005. Zverev and Gasquet take to court around 3.30pm local time on Friday (2.30pm BST).

He hasn’t been at his best so far in Monte-Carlo this week, but Zverev has fought, scrapped and battled his way into the quarter-finals for the first time, overcoming Gilles Muller and Davis Cup teammate Jan-Lennard Struff in three sets. Zverev recovered from dropping the first set to finish strongly against the big-serving Muller in his opening match, but he found the going much tougher against compatriot Struff on Thursday, with their Round of 16 contest featuring a staggering 15 breaks of serve. In the end, Zverev was able to edge out a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory, but he will certainly want to improve for Friday - the quarter-finals and also his 21st birthday.

“I think I was hitting the ball pretty well, but we couldn’t hold onto our serves,” said Zverev post-match. “To be in the quarter-finals of an [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000, you have to play well and the draw doesn’t get any easier.”

It doesn’t matter how they come, each win will be restoring Zverev’s confidence and belief after a rocky six months or so before Miami. The 20-year-old enjoyed an extraordinary season in 2017, highlighted by capturing his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles in Rome (beat Novak Djokovic) and Montreal (beat Roger Federer) and rising to as high as No. 3 in the world, but the German’s form dipped towards the end of last year and continued into much of the first quarter of 2018.

Zverev didn’t play well at the Hopman Cup at the start of the season after saying he didn’t train much during the off-season, while he crashed out of the Australian Open in the third round to Hyeon Chung, losing 6-0 in the fifth to Hyeon Chung as his Grand Slam woes continued. Zverev would play a key role in propelling Germany to Davis Cup victory over Australia in Brisbane in Germany, but his form at ATP level wasn’t getting any better as he lost in the second round of Rotterdam to Andreas Seppi, the semi-finals of Acapulco to Juan Martin del Potro and the opening round of Indian Wells to Joao Sousa.


However, although it wasn’t the most intimidating of draws, Zverev produced easily his best tennis of the season to reach his third Masters 1000 final in Miami a few weeks ago, overcoming Daniil Medvedev in a tight three-setter in his opening match before taking out David Ferrer, Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric and Pablo Carreno Busta before falling to an on-fire John Isner in the final. Zverev warmed up for Monte-Carlo by beating Ferrer again and losing to Rafael Nadal in Davis Cup in Valencia last week, and no matter the result in the quarter-finals, he’s started his clay campaign in encouraging fashion.

Richard Gasquet (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, if anyone knows what Zverev is going through right now, it’s his Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-final opponent. Richard Gasquet was - in hindsight, unfairly - branded as the future of tennis and a multiple-time Grand Slam champion from the age of nine, when he was unveiled on the cover of a French tennis magazine. Success came thick and fast for Gasquet, who’s career has actually come full circle in Monte-Carlo this week. It was at this tournament all the way back in 2002, when as a 15-year-old, Gasquet won his first tour-level match, becoming the youngest player to win a Masters 1000 match as he beat No. 54 Franco Squillari in three sets.

A few years later the hype only grew bigger as Gasquet knocked out World No. 1 Roger Federer as an 18-year-old by a 6-7(1) 6-2 7-6(8) scoreline, clinching the upset with a signature backhand down the line before falling to another legend of tennis - and current 10-time champion - Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, losing in a tight three-setter. Expectations soared for Gasquet, but unfortunately for the Frenchman, he hasn’t been able to live up to them despite still putting together a tremendous career.

There’s been no Grand Slams or Masters 1000 titles, but the majority of professional tennis players would take Gasquet’s career in a heartbeat, with the Frenchman rising to a career-high No. 7 in the world in 2007, winning a total of 14 ATP World Tour titles, finishing runner-up at three Masters 1000 tournaments (Madrid 2005 and Canada 2006, 2012), while he also made the semi-finals of three Grand Slams (Wimbledon 2007, 2015 and the U.S. Open in 2013) and the semis of a further four Masters 1000 events. Gasquet may not be the player he once was (he’s been hampered by niggling back injuries and slipped to a current mark of No. 34 in the rankings), but he’s still capable of some sublime tennis, with his 2018 looking very solid at the moment, highlighted by a runner-up finish in Montpellier, a third round showing at the Australian Open, reaching the semi-finals of Marrakech and now the quarter-finals of Monte-Carlo, where he’s advanced into the last eight with straight sets wins over Jeremy Chardy, Diego Schwartzman and Mischa Zverev.

Can Gasquet now complete the ‘Zverev double’ and reach a first Masters 1000 semi-final since Miami in 2013 and first Monte-Carlo semi since that famous tournament in 2005? He will need to post a first win over Sascha Zverev to do so, with the young German winning all three of their previous meetings last year, including the Montpellier final, the Halle semi-finals and Canada Masters R32. Gasquet did take a set off Zverev in those last two meetings however, while this will also be their first encounter on clay. With the way Gasquet has been playing all week, I give him a very good chance of continuing his run, especially with Zverev still searching for his best tennis. But, at the same time, this is Richard Gasquet, the perennial underachiever we’re talking about. It’s such a tough match to call, but I’m leaning with Zverev digging out another three-set victory.



Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Alexander Zverev vs Richard Gasquet ATP Monte-Carlo tennis preview, predictions and tips: Current future of tennis faces former future of tennis in Monte-Carlo quarter-finals

Alexander Zverev targets his first Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-final on Friday when he takes on former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages