Frenchman Gasquet targets top-10 breakthrough
By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
Published: February 25, 2009, 22:59
Dubai: France's fourth-best player Richard Gasquet has set himself the target of clawing his way back into the top-10 in the near future.
"For this year, the goals are quite clear: I need to come back in the top-10," Gasquet told media after his three-set win against former world number one Marat Safin in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
"I was in the top-10 two years ago, so I will try to come back in the top-10 again this year," he added.
The 22-year-old Frenchman climbed up to world number seven in the South African Airways ATP Ranking in July 2007. That was the year that really made Gasquet as he finished as the top French player while also advancing to the top 10 after winning a career-high 49 matches along with his fifth career ATP title.
Gasquet also advanced to his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wmbledon, thus clinching the eighth and final berth at the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup that year.
But the next season a knee injury put him out and his since then he has struggled to find the same form of 2007.
However, the good news is that the Frenchman seems to have found his confidence and game this season after he opened 2009 with back-to-back semifinals in Brisbane and Sydney. He followed this up with a third round appearance at the Australian Open where he lost to Fernando Gonzalez in five sets. Given this resurgence in form, Gasquet sees a lot of hope in his chase for the top-10 position this season. And he knows exactly what he needs to do to achieve this goal. "I am happy with the way I am serving, the serve is crucial to my game," Gasquet said.
"But there are a few things that I still need to improve on and the forehand is one of these for sure. I also need to further work on my serve, my forehand and physical education," he added.
Gasquet is also pleased with the way the French players have been progressing on the Tour. There are two of them in the top-10: Gilles Simon is number 8 and Gael Monfils is at 10 followed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 11.