Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gasquet Wins in India

Richard Gasquet didn't drop a set in nagging his fifth career title at the Kingfisher Airlines Open in Mumbai, India. In the final, he dismissed Belgium's Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4.


Vlad said...

Craig, aside from Roger and Andy and now Richard who else won titles on all 4 surfaces in their careers?

anyone else?

Vlad said...

btw, you spelled his name wrong in title.. :)

Craig Hickman said...

LOL. Typo.

Has Gasquet won titles on indoor carpet and indoor hard? He's won 5 titles. I know he's won on outdoor hard, grass, and clay, but I don't know of his indoor prowess.

Craig Hickman said...

Okay, Vlad, I just looked it up. He won Lyon last year on indoor carpet, so now all he has to do is win an indoor hardcourt title and he's good to go.

Funny that the ATP calls Gasquet Mr. Versatile for winning today's title claiming he won a Surface Slam when Andy won on all five surfaces in the same year and got no such moniker.

I guess when you have to sell a player as one-dimensional, then that's all you sell the player as.

But back to Richie Red Shoes. I still wish he had attempted to play his match at the US Open. Maybe with Noah in his corner, he might deliver on all his promise.

Albert said...

I believe ATP officially list only four surfaces (hard, grass, clay and carpet) so Gasquet has now won titles on all of them. There is no one else among active players, other than the ones mentioned here, who has done it. Safin has never won on grass, Hewitt on carpet and Bjorkman on clay...

Craig Hickman said...

yes, albert, the ATP officially recognizes only four surfaces.

But I agree with Raja here: indoor hard, which is often Greenset, and outdoor hard, which is often Decoturf, represent two different playing conditions. I'm not suggesting RRS can't win on indoor hard. He can and he probably will. Maybe even in a few weeks.

Still, it's a great feat.

Vlad said...

I didn't realize that Andy won all 5 titles on different surfaces in 1 year.. that is impressive. But, my question remains, are there any other player who did it other then Roger and Andy?

Vlad said...

So, what are the chances of him making Masters Cup? I really want to see him try his best to make there.. I think he is very motivated and I saw 3 of his matches in Mumbai and that was Richard I never seen before.. he wanted not only to win it but to win every point he played.. and he pretty much succeeded at that. The only tough set was against Rochus today in second set.

Craig Hickman said...

No, vlad. Among active players I can't think of any others except for Hingis and maybe Serena. As for past champions, I'd have to look it up, but there must be others, no?

Andy did it in 2005:

San Jose - indoor hard
Houston - red clay
Cincinnati - outdoor hard
Queens - grass
Lyon - indoor carpet

I remember writing about it on TOB and folks dismissed the achievement because only Cincy was a "big" title. Andy's first career title was on green clay.

Now RRS does it and it makes headlines. Not that it shouldn't. But what's good for the goose...

Gasquet has a chance to qualify if he wins Madrid and/or Paris and defends his title in Lyon.

Somehow, though, I get the feeling that if he qualifies, some part of his body won't hold up and he won't be able to compete well there if at all.

We'll see.

Vlad said...

Craig, about Richard's withdrawal from US Open. His father Francis, writes for on weekly basis on every monday and here is what he wrote after US Open:

Hello Everyone,

Although it's always better to give good news rather than bad ones, I still came to deliver the latest news about Richard like I promised this Monday.

As you already know, he was forced to withdraw before his second round match against Donald Young. This is really unlucky considering the fact that he had to retire with a blister in Cincinnati. We arrived in New York last Monday to see him right after he had defeated the Argentine Sergio Roitman. Richard felt pretty good about his tennis game and he had a fairly favorable draw until the potential fourth round match against Roger Federer.

His matched against Young wasn't scheduled until Thursday and so we spent a lot of time in the players' lounge and in the Lacoste store to watch other matches. It was really cold with the air conditioning on, and as a result Richard caught a cold. You would have felt just as powerless in the same situation, and you could have only hoped that you would be well enough in time for the match. Ever since certain tennis players that were suspected of doping blamed it on salt pills distributed by the ATP, the ATP no longer gives anything to a sick player. You can understand why.

We woke up Doctor Montalvan in Paris early so that he could prescribe some medication that we could buy over there; Richard was in no shape to go out on the tennis court. His legs hurt and he was completely exhausted. You could imagine how disappointing this was for everyone, especially for him! Unfortunately whatever he did would have placed him at fault: for instance, the public would not have been pleased if he went on the tennis court and had to retire at the beginning of a set. If he was treated with the prescribed medication, he would have been dangerously close to the controlled limits for anti-doping. Finally, he received a different type of criticism for withdrawing. That's how life goes!

This latest physical problem is the result of a lack of medical preparation on behalf of the French tennis program. The tennis season is long and difficult. It's not unusual to see foreign players accompanied by at least three other people: including a coach, assistant, physiotherapist, a doctor or who knows what else! Besides that, we should try to determine if Richard might actually have a problem with sensitive ears. He had the same problem at Indian Wells in Miami two years ago.

We returned to Paris last weekend. We attended the soccer match between Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at the Parc des Princes (Park of Princes) on Sunday evening. It was a wonderful match. Richard is currently at his home in Neuchatel and he will come back to Paris on Friday to attend the kick-off for the rugby World Cup. We are going to the Stade de France (French Stadium) to watch the match between France and Argentina. The French rugby team should win because they seem to be very, very strong!

Richard will not begin to train again until the end of next week. Therefore, he will not play in the tournament in Bucharest. He will make his return to the circuit at the tournament in Mumbai, India on September 17th.

Thank you to everyone for your support in both the good and the not so good moments. This is how a tennis player's career goes!


Now, of couse you gonna say he still could have gone to court and try his best.. I think he could and maybe finish match losing in 3 sets or withrawing from match in second set or so.. but you have to understand that he is not physically strongest player and had fair share of injuries and troubles already at 21. I think the main reason is that he is afraid of risking some more damage done to his system by playing while being sick.. all players are different and some may be able to do it, some not.. look at how many players did not appear before their BIG Davis Cup matches last week while being sick... Hewitt, Haas, ToJo, Kolya... most of these players knew that they are putting their entire team in danger of losing a tie if they don't play.. in case of Haas, Hewitt it was almost 100% certain that they will lose if they don't play. So, Richard is not the only player who would consider not playing in this situation. Perhaps looking forward to getting healthy is more important then playing no matter what even in Grand Slam match.

Albert said...

Most (albeit not all) great champions of the past have won titles on all surfaces (I understand your argument, but just to keep it simple I use official ATP classification) - Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, Stich, Kafelnikov and probably many others I didn't bother to check...

It's not as rare a feat among women...

Albert said...

Lindsey Davenport has won titles on all surfaces in the same season (1999)

Craig Hickman said...

Yes, albert, I admitted as much. "There must be others, no?"

But it's a feat that current players on the men's side are not doing as the older champions have done and that's what makes it look rare.

My point about Andy vis a vis Richard is that Richard gets a headline, Andy gets dismissed. It's all about selling certain aspects of the players in question. Richie is Mr. Versatile; Andy is Mr. One-Dimensional. But the facts tell a different story about Andy, no? (And by the way, I was wrong: Andy won Washington, D.C. in 2005, not Cincy. Got my years mixed up there. He won Cincy in 2006.)

And yes, Vlad, despite Richard's father's earnest words, I still wish he had tried, especially given who his opponent was. Donald Young was untested at a Slam in the third round and could have been overwhelmed by nerves. You don't get tough and strong by giving walkovers in Slam matches because you have a cold. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.