Richard Gasquet made an electric start to his Roland Garros campaign as he thrashed Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour and a half, and moments before rain halted the rest of the day's action. He will now play Malek Jaziri who overcame Mikhail Youzhny in five sets.
Gasquet races to a set lead in 20 minutes
The Frenchman made a lightning quick start on Court Suzanne Lenglen as he brought up triple breakpoints. Seppi smashed a forehand winner but Gasquet would break a point later, attacking the Italian's poorly executed dropshot and forcing the error. Gasquet was playing with confidence, winning every point and every rally as he consolidated to make it 2-0.
The 34-year-old was struggling to make an impression in the first set and the Frenchman would bring up another break point in the third game. A good first serve denied the 27th seed but only momentarily as he collapsed on serve with a double-fault to fall even further behind at 3-0.
Gasquet played an inch-perfect game, striking an exquisite backhand winner as he went 4-0 up in just 15 minutes. The 31-year-old continued to mesmerize with his opening set performance and the Italian couldn't find any answers. Three more break points arose and just like in the previous service game, Seppi denied Gasquet with a delightful dropshot.
But the Frenchman broke for the third time in the set, chasing down a dropshot and finishing the point with an overhead winner. Serving for the opener, Gasquet raced away to a love-40 lead and closed out the set in 20 minutes with an unreturnable first serve.
Frenchman continues to outplay the veteran Italian
With the start of a new set, the Italian was hoping to fair better. However, Gasquet continued with his spectacular performance and brought up a break point chance, and just like in the first set, he broke and consolidated following a Seppi error to go 2-0 up and make it eight straight games won.
The 34-year-old eventually held serve for the first time in the match but saved two break points en-route to making it 2-1. He attempted to get back into the match and sent the fourth game to deuce. But Gasquet wasn't to be beaten and held from then on in for 3-1.
After a number of unsuccessful drop shots throughout the match, the Italian attempted another to which Gasquet attacked and ended the point with a slice volley winner at the net to bring up a tenth break point of the match. Seppi conceded the game with a forehand into the net to fall even further behind at 4-1.
A hold of serve made it 5-1. Despite the world number 50 holding for the second time in the match, the 29th seed would ease through his service game to bring up a set point. With less than an hour gone on the clock, there was no better time to clinch the set but with a backhand winner for a two-set lead.
Gasquet books his place in round two
The third set began just like the previous two, with Gasquet breaking on his second break point with Seppi once more sending a forehand straight into the net. Another comfortable hold gave the Frenchman a 2-0 lead.
He would break to love in the third game but Seppi showed signs of a fight and managed to earn three rare break points at love-40. A first double-fault handed the Italian the break and a lifeline in this match. The 34-year-old was then forced to save two Gasquet break points as he held serve in the longest game of the match to make it 3-2.
After allowing his Seppi a slight chance in the set, the world number 32 then slam shut the door by holding in the sixth game and then breaking to love thanks to an overhead winner for a 5-2 lead.
With the finishing line in touch, two match point was brought up for Gasquet, which resulted in huge cheers from the crowd. At the first time of asking, he sealed victory after the world number 50 found the net for the umpteenth time in the contest.