Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs.  Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
He was supposed to be the next great tennis star of France; the tennis player the French believed would carry the mantle and burden of the French people’s hopes for another French Roland Garros champion. The pressure has been tremendous for Gasquet, who was on the cover of the French Tennis Magazine in 1996 (at 9 years old). Known for his sublime one-handed backhand, one wonders what could have been if only injury had not negatively and repeatedly derailed his plans.
Gasquet’s Tennis Story
Gasquet, currently thirty-three-years old, turned professional in 2002. He was once ranked as high as number seven (2007) and has seen his ranking fluctuate through the years because of injury after injury. He has been plagued by recurrent back problems; appendicitis derailed him in 2017; and groin surgery in 2019, which kept him off the Tour for four months, has continued to negatively affect his game. It seems just when he is about to gain some traction, he is hit with another injury.
Today was another withdrawal from a match because of injury. He was 1-6, 0-1 down to Pospisil in the Open Sud de France quarterfinals when his groin injury flared up again, this time there was no recovering as he did earlier in the tournament against  Feliciano Lopez (ESP). Their head-to-head was 2:2 going into today’s match with Gasquet winning their last two encounters; thus, if not injured, Gasquet more than likely would have defeated Pospisil.
Gasquet’s Record At The Majors
The talent is real, and the evidence was there to understand why they believed. In 2007, Gasquet made it to the semifinals of Wimbledon before losing to the number one seed, Roger Federer (SUI). He made it to two more major semifinals: 2013 US Open and 2015 Wimbledon. Unfortunately for the French, the furthest he has ever gone at Roland Garros was the quarterfinals in 2016. He also made it to the 2015 US Open quarterfinals.
Injury takes a physical and mental toll; yet, despite his recurrent health issues and injuries, the Frenchman has been able to make it to thirty-one finals, of which he won fifteen. He ended last season ranked sixty-one and this was his first tournament of the 2020 season. No doubt, he felt ready to go, so this will be yet another setback that he and his team will have to bounce back from.
One wonders just how much longer he will keep fighting? His mind may be willing, but his body continues to let him down; thus, perhaps it may be time for him to walk away gracefully before he does irreparable damage to his body.
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