In the third round at the Australian Open on show court two, Richard Gasquet eased past Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the third round. Up next is a blockbuster match against Grigor Dimitrov, a head-to-head Gasquet leads 5-1 having lost the last meeting in Shanghai.
Races through the opening set
Richard Gasquet started out by holding serve. He then hit a backhand winner to bring up an early break point at 30-40. The Argentinian sent a forehand wide and was broken immediately. A comfortable hold for Gasquet made it 3-0 in quick time. More misery was piled on for Berlocq as he faced two more break points. He managed to save one of them but Gasquet went a double-break up when Berlocq ventured towards the net and a backhand passing shot landed in for 4-0.
The Frenchman then hit a backhand into the net and the Argentinian gained his first break point of the set. The 33-year-old hit a poor dropshot which allowed Gasquet to play the ball back in court and save the break point. He then won the next two points and took a 5-0 lead before Berlocq eventually stopped the rot and held serve. The 29-year-old raced away to a set point at 15-40 then forced the error in the next point to take the set 6-1.
Gasquet impressively takes a two-set lead
Things were going from bad to worse for Berlocq as the Frenchman grabbed two break points in the opening game. Another unforced error allowed Gasquet to break straight away and then hold serve with the set going in the same vein as the first. A backhand winner down the line from the 18th seed sent even more, break points his way, this time three of them. Richard Gasquet missed the chance to break at the first time, but the world number 90 gifted the double break, sending a forehand wide.
A hold to love for Gasquet made it 4-0 with the match already looking beyond Berlocq. The Davis Cup winner was forced to save a break point en route to holding just his second game of the whole entire match at 4-1. Just two games later, he reached double set points with his opponent putting a backhand into the net. Despite going on to miss the first set point, Gasquet made it two sets to love by forcing the error.
Berlocq shows fight, falls down in three
Berlocq began the third set differently to the previous two. With the scoreline and crowd against him, he began to show some fight and forced Gasquet to serve a double fault with a break point going his way at advantage. However, the Frenchman forced the error then won the next point to hold for 1-0. A forehand shot left by the Argentine presented Gasquet with a break point at 30-40. Berlocq hit a powerful forehand winner to deny Gasquet and send the game to deuce.
Another break point went the way of the Frenchman but Berlocq denied Gasquet again then hit a backhand error for 1-1. The world number 18 held serve the next game and then put Berlocq under more pressure by gaining a break point. Gasquet hit a backhand passing shot winner to breakthrough in the third. He consolidated serve for a 4-1 lead. The Frenchman broke again in the fifth game and put the match to bed in the sixth.