Roger Federer plays Richard Gasquet in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid on Tuesday, May 7. The match will take place at 12 pm local time (11:00 BST). You can find the Roger Federer v Richard Gasquet live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Roger Federer v Richard Gasquet Head to Head
The two players have met 19 times on the ATP circuit with Federer leading the head-to-head 17-2. Federer has won the last nine meetings dating back to 2011. Gasquet’s only two victories have come on the clay however, winning their first ever encounter at Monte Carlo in 2005 and then again at the Rome Masters in 2011. Both were decided by a final set tie break. Federer has however won their last two clay meetings, though, at the 2014 Davis Cup final as well as in Madrid in 2012.
Federer Returns to Clay after a Three Year Hiatus
Swiss legend Roger Federer returns to clay after a three year break from the surface. While it was often believed by many that we would not see the Swiss again on the surface, Federer has always maintained the desire to return to the surface at the opportune time.
Federer has mentioned that this was one of the decisions he took this off-season, and confirmed his return to clay at the Madrid Masters 1000 soon after his Australian Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas
2019 did not start particularly well for Federer with his fourth round Aussie Open loss. However, it has only got better for him since. Federer won his 100th title at Dubai, beating Tsitsipas, and was a finalist at the Indian Wells Masters before clinching the Miami Masters 1000 thereafter.
Roger Federer has alluded to being pleased with his practice and build-up thus far on the clay, as well as talked about how Madrid was the most logical choice, as the venue to return to the surface. Federer is a three-time winner in Madrid and the relatively faster clay surface and altitude are both to his liking.
Although among his least favored surfaces, Federer is the 2009 French Open champion and has appeared in five French Open finals, losing four to Rafael Nadal. Despite what may seem as a weak record on clay, given the dominance against him by Nadal, the Swiss has been referred to by many as being among the top clay-courters of all time.
Federer begins his clay and Madrid Masters campaign against old compatriot Richard Gasquet of France.
Gasquet Looks to Clay to Reverse the Trend
Frenchman Richard Gasquet has been a consistent name on the ATP tour for more than a decade now. Gasquet is currently ranked 30th in the world, but was ranked as high as number seven on the ATP circuit in 2007. Gasquet is a winner of 15 ATP singles titles, and has been a semi-finalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
Gasquet is an all-court player renowned for elegance, with one of the best ever single handed backhands. In addition, his groundstrokes, variety and ability to volley have received praise from tennis experts the world across.
With his strong groundstrokes, he has managed to be a force on the clay, and his strong net game has given him the edge on grass and hard courts as well. Gasquet’s game however has lacked power and aggression at times, which has prevented him from more success throughout his career, especially against the top players.
In recent years, Gasquet has suffered from back related injuries and dropped in rankings. However, he returned to better results in the latter part of 2018 and hopes to continue it this season as well.
Gasquet won a tightly-fought first round match at Madrid against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets.
Federer v Gasquet Predictions & Tips
This is a matchup that has always suited the Swiss and he always starts as a huge favorite against Gasquet. The most crucial factor here remains that Federer has not played on the clay for three years, and one does not know yet how long it may take him to adapt or what form he hits upon return.
Gasquet will be aware of this and hope that he may find the Swiss maestro a little more tentative than normal. While Gasquet is not a clay court specialist, he has performed well on all surfaces and is not one to be ruled out given his all court play.
Expect this match to get off to an interesting start with a lot of unknowns, especially around Federer currently on clay. On the other hand, Federer will be pleased to be up against an opponent he has usually got the better of. It can be expected to see Federer get into his groove sooner rather than later as the match progresses, with Federer winning in two competitive sets.
Tip: Federer to win in straight sets: 3/5 (888Sport)