After Hours

After Hours 2017-10-16

Richard Gasquet wins Pekao Szczecin Open 2017

The 31-year-old Frenchman ranked #1 won the finals against Florian Mayer from Germany (#2). 7:6 (7-3), 7:6 (7-4).
Richard Gasquet  /fot.: mab / Richard Gasquet /fot.: mab /
The finals of the 25th anniversary edition of Pekao Szczecin Open (ATP Challenger Series “Top Level Event”; prizes: EUR 127 thousand +hospitality) took place on the central tennis court at al. Wojska Polskiego in Szczecin on 17 September.
The final match was played before a large audience, on the central Bohdan Tomaszewski’s court. In the first set Mayer broke the rival’s service and led 5:4, but Gasquet managed to make up for it. The latter won the tie-break, first leading 4-0 and then with the result 7-3.
“I always found it hard to play against Florian, and it was not different this time.  I realized that I had to do my best, because I would not win otherwise.  Breaking the opponent’s service in the first set when the result was 4:5 was crucial.  I grew more confident and that confidence was necessary to win the tie-break,” noted Gasquet during the press conference organized after the match.
The Frenchman took the lead in the second set and almost crashed his opponent in the seventh game.  However, with the score 5:3 he failed to win the match point and outed the ball. The atmosphere became rather tense as a second tie-break was required. The game remained a closely-fought affair, but then Gasquet managed to score 6-3. 
His opponent defended the second match ball. However, Gasquet was relentless and sealed his victory after a hard fight of 1 hour and 38 minutes.
“As far as the organization of the event goes, everything was shipshape, down to the last detail, I cannot complain.  I played five matches and won the tournament, so I must say that it was a perfect week for me. I am planning to take part in ATP World Tours again, but I have decided not to set any specific objectives ranking-wise - I just want to stay healthy, enjoy the game and keep up the good form. As for Szczecin tournaments, I will surely take part in the event again, although I can’t say whether I will be back next year.  I am leaving Poland with many happy memories to treasure,” sums up the new Pekao Szczecin Open champion.
Richard Gasquet, formerly ranked 7th by ATP World Tour, was the star of the 25th anniversary edition of Pekao Szczecin Open. Currently marked #30 by ATP World Tour, he had the wild card entry. 
It was the first game of that format since 2010, when he won in Bordeaux. In an interview given before semi-finals, Richard Gasquet admitted that after playing in Pekao Szczecin Open, he did not intend to take part in any other Challenger event. 
Richard Gasquet visited Szczecin for the second time - he played here in 2004 when he was ranked 124th, but he lost in the first round to Tomas Tenconi from Italy (167th according to ATP) 6:7 (3-7), 7:6 (7-6), 1:6. Two weeks later in Metz, France, during an ATP World Tour event, he classified to the finals for the first time in his career. 
This is how his career began. He achieved the 7th ranking according to ATP World Tour, won 14 singles championships, earned almost 15.5 million U.S. dollars and received bronze Olympic medal in London (2012) in doubles.
In singles, his best achievements in Grand Slams are reaching the semi-finals of the 2007 and 2015 Wimbledon Championships and the semi-finals of the 2013 US Open. He won the mixed doubles Grand Slam title at the 2004 French Open, partnering Tatiana Golovin.  This season he lost in the third round of Australian Open and Roland Garros, and in the first round of Wimbledon and US Open. His best result this year was achieved during the finals of ATP World Tour in Montpelier. In July he injured his back, but he played five matches before his appearance in Szczecin.
aktualizowano: 2017-10-16 18:18
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