French Open: Richard Gasquet brushes past Thomaz Bellucci

French Open: Richard Gasquet brushes past Thomaz Bellucci

In front of a packed Suzanne Lenglen, Richard Gasquet had no problems in dispatching Thomaz Bellucci 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.

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In the first round at Roland Garros on court Suzanne Lenglen, Richard Gasquet came away a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 victor against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. The Frenchman will face American Bjorn Fratangelo in round two, who caused a major upset by defeating compatriot Sam Querrey in four sets later in the day. 

Frenchman in control in opener

With the Frenchman on home soil, the crowd came in their numbers to support Richard Gasquet, who didn't disappoint. Having held his opening service game, Gasquet then broke the Brazilian and consolidated to get off to the perfect start and go 3-0 up. The world number 12 continued his good start and at 30-40, he took his break point opportunity and went a double break on the clay court specialist.

The fifth game saw the Frenchman tested for the first time in the set on serve. He fought long and hard to save two break points from 15-40 en route to consolidating his double break. Bellucci continued to struggle in the opening set and in the sixth game, battled and managed to save two break points as he avoided the bagel. However, in the following game, it was Gasquet's turn to fend off break point opportunities, doing so at advantage both times. Eventually on his fourth set point, the ninth seed clinched the opener 6-1 with an unreadable serve.

Gasquet wins the second set

In the opening game of the set, the momentum was with Gasquet from the first set and that seemed to show as he battled to break Bellucci at the fourth time of asking winning the rally and forcing the error from the world number 57. However, Bellucci didn't give up and it was his turn to break back. The Brazilian had a double break point at 15-40 and despite not breaking at the first time of asking, he did so at the second time with Gasquet hitting a forehand into the net.

The next three games were held comfortably by both players and the set moved to 3-3. The eighth game saw Gasquet break his opponent for the second and at a very crucial time in the set, coming from love-40 down to go 4-3 up. Unlike at the start of the set, the 29-year-old held his serve and consolidated for a 5-3 lead. In the upcoming game, Gasquet hit a backhand winner at the net following a lengthy rally which set up his first set point. The number nine seed took the second set 6-3 to the delight of the packed Susanne Lenglen crowd.

Gasquet hitting a backhand. Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images
Gasquet hitting a backhand (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
 

Bellucci shows fighting spirit, but loses match

With the match one-sided, the third set seemed anything but that. The first four games were tight and saw no breakthrough and the set went to 2-2. The fifth game saw its first break point opportunity at 30-40 in favor of Gasquet, however, Bellucci saved it and stopped Gasquet from going ahead. In the upcoming game, the Frenchman did save a break point of his own, hitting an overhead smash winner as he went 4-3 up.

The two-time Grand Slam semifinalist raced away to a love-40 lead on the Bellucci serve and despite having two break points saved, the third was taken and Gasquet was now serving for the match. The Brazilian showed fighting spirit like he had all set and he broke back to love for 5-4. In the longest game of the set, the 28-year-old failed to consolidate his break and the Frenchman at the second time of asking clinched victory to book his spot in round two. 

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