ATP Monte Carlo: Richard Gasquet defeats Nicolas Almagro in straight sets

Richard Gasquet started his Monte Carlo Rolex Masters off on Monday with an impressive 6-4, 6-0 win over Nicolas Almagro of Spain in a match that lasted one hour and eight minutes. 

Number of breaks decide the opening set

Richard Gasquet raced away to a love-40 lead in the opening game and broke his Spanish opponent after he netted a backhand shot to get the first break of the match. He would then consolidate, however, three games later, Almagro would not lie down already missing three chances to get back on level terms. The play from both players were high, with Gasquet doing some good defensive work from the baseline, but Almagro leveled at 2-2 on his fourth break point forcing the error from Gasquet. He immediately gifted the break back with sloppy play.

Richard Gasquet serving to Nicolas Almagro (Photo:Valery Hache/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet serving to Nicolas Almagro (Photo: Valery Hache/Getty Images)

Having just regained the break, it would not take long for Almagro to break again for the second time. Both players held and with the 30-year old serving at 4-4, the world number ten broke to love with the help of a double-fault from the Spaniard and was now serving to take the opening set. In no time Gasquet had match point and his Spanish opponent saved one, but couldn't save the other as the Frenchman took the opening set serving an unreturnable serve. 

Gasquet serves bagel and advances to next round

The momentum from the first set was with Gasquet and he took no time in gaining the first break of the set, running away to 40-love before forcing the error from Almagro. He consolidated and just like the opener, Almagro was fighting to get back in the match. However, the world number 64 was fading away in this match and couldn't hold onto his serve with Gasquet breaking and holding with brilliant defensive work at 15-30 to go up a set and a double break.

With the match all but done, Gasquet continued his high play and got the third break of the match coming back from 15-40, with Almagro netting a forehand shot. The 28-year old Frenchman capped off a great match by hitting his beloved backhand shot for the bagel and a spot in the second round, where he will face fellow countryman Lucas Pouille, who came away as a winner against Nicolas Mahut in straight sets. Gasquet broke three out of three times during the set and didn't face a single break point throughout the second set. 

Nicolas Almagro congratulates Richard Gasquet at the net (Photo:Valery Hache/Getty Images)
Nicolas Almagro congratulates Richard Gasquet at the net (Photo: Valery Hache/Getty Images)

Match by the numbers

Richard Gasquet served two aces and five double faults during the match. The Frenchman was impressive on serve, winning 69 percent on his first and 54 percent on his second. Gasquet saved 60 percent of break points and tucked away all of his breaks. He won a total of 65 percent points.

Nicolas Almagro served two aces and five double faults during the match. Almagro struggled winning only half of his first serve points and only 20 percent on his second serves. Almagro didn't save any of six breaks he faced and won broke 40 percent (two out of five). Almagro won only 35 percent as he struggled.