Safin Stops Gasquet
Top seed Marat Safin needed to draw on all of his experience to overcome teenage French sensation Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the second round of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon.
Safin, who accepted a wild card into the tournament, fought off a spirited challenge from the 16-year-old in what was a repeat of their second round encounter earlier this year at the Tennis Masters Monte Carlo. On that occasion, Gasquet was playing in his first ATP event having become the youngest ever qualifier at a Tennis Masters Series tournament and had his first taste of the big time.
Six months later, Gasquet was showing just how far he has come after winning the French and US Open junior titles along with a Challenger title in Montauban and two Futures titles (Great Britain and Germany).
"Richard has improved his serve since the last time we played in Monte Carlo," said Safin of his young opponent. "The guy has great hands and he takes many risks from the baseline. He definitely has a great future ahead of him. I barely played in satellite events at his age and he is already beating established professional players."
Eat it roddick!