Richard Gasquet was just 15 when he became the youngest match winner in ATP Tour history (since 1990) with his first tour win at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2002. The Frenchman broke through another step on Monday at the Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, beating Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-2 to register his 550th circuit victory.
Gasquet lost just two points behind his first serve (27/29) to become only the sixth active player to score 550 wins. The former world No.7 joins the Big Four and Fernando Verdasco in the exclusive club.
Most career match wins (active players)
Gasquet, 15-time ATP Tour titlist, improved his lap level record to 550-331 with his victory over Cecchinato. The double semi-finalist from Dubai (2009, 2011) will face 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz for a place in the third round.
“I feel good here,” Gasquet said in an interview on the field. “I know this tribunal well. I played well [here] Last year. It’s a short quick. I like to play on it. It is important to serve well and it was a great game. I started well, felt confident and won the first set and then played better in the second set.
Gasquet was not the only French winner on Monday. Jeremy Chardy recovered from a set to eliminate ninth seed Alex de Minaur 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Frenchman created two break points throughout the match and converted those two opportunities to record his ninth victory in 2021 (9-5).
“I’ve played well since the start of the year,” said Chardy. “It’s always easier to play when you’re confident… If you play a bad set, it’s never over. I stayed focused and tried to find a solution.
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Marton Fucsovics came from a set to beat Vasek Pospisil 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. The Hungarian, who reached his first ATP 500 final earlier this month at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (left to Rublev), will meet sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round.
Jan-Lennard Struff notched 16 aces en route to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin. The world No.39 will face third seed Denis Shapovalov in the second round.
Lloyd Harris and Emil Ruusuvuori have also booked second-round matches against the seeded opposition. Harris rallied with a set to defeat Aussie Christopher O’Connell 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, while Ruusuvuori defeated Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6 (5) . In the second round, Harris will meet seed Dominic Thiem and Ruusuvuori will face second seed Andrey Rublev.