This content was published 11 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
The match was barely reminiscent of tennis on the red dirt – Gasquet was winning points behind big services, playing serve-and-volley on second services and falling in love with the sliced back-hand drop-shot to the deuce court early in the exchanges. Speaking of which, there was barely a rally worthy of the name throughout the match, with Montanes struggling on service and the Frenchman capitalising.
Gasquet got an early break then finished off the first set in style, breaking the Spanish clay-court specialist again to take the opener 6-2. The match could have been over within the hour, but Gasquet got greedy on service early in the second, trying everything to keep the rallies short at the expense of constructing points from the baseline, and allowed himself to be broken back to 2-1. It was merely a stay of execution for the out-of-sorts Montanes however, who tried racquets with different tensions in an attempt to regain his rhythm but looked all at sea in the early afternoon sun.
No.16 seed Gasquet will now face a qualifier in the second round, two of whom will be playing one another to earn the right to face the Frenchman. Afterwards, Roger Federer may well be lying in wait in the third round.