Despite him skipping the Olympics, the French nr 1 is more ambitious than ever.
In the sentence “I lost 7-6, 6-0”, what deranges most is the end. That Richard got bashed once more last week in the second round of Cincinnati against bison Dmitrij Tursunov is not slanderous. If the Russian plays [his concerto] like a jack-hammer with zeal without getting deaf, one does not ask for “one more, one more”.
In the sentence “I lost 7-6, 6-0”, what does disturb is to leave Ohio with a rather ugly bagel. From the moment when he led 15-40 in the first game of the second set, the French number 1 was not there anymore. “But I don’t think Richard tanked”, said his coach Guillaume Peyre. “His batteries were empty, that’s all. I always told Richard that I am not his nanny and if he has the right to lose, he also has the duty to do it like a man. Against Tursunov, he did not break this deal. When he let it go in his head, it was because he was saturated. If he was saturated, it was because he has been working very hard for two months. He will now take 10 days holiday and then we will see each other for two weeks of intense work before the US Open.”
Since Peyre entered the orbit just before Roland Garros, he has not done something like that [the holidays]. Six tournaments in seven weeks take their toll, take their toll, but it was not wasted. And if he neither takes part in the Olympics nor tries to bring to perfection his repertoire during the US tourneys, the confused guy of the month of May is re-established – in a good way.
“If somebody had told me, when I lost 6-4 6-1 to Horna in Rome, then 6-3 6-2 against Seppi in Hamburg, playing dreadfully , that I would be number 11 in the world in early August, I would have signed on immediately. I feel perfectly capable to end the year in the Top 5. I was not better when I was ranked 7 in the world and qualified for the Masters. The great results will come soon.” They will not come at Beijing, though, as Gasquet took the quite unpopular decision to decline a selection. Up to him, to admit that this waver implies that he prepares for a great “coup” at the US Open. “In New York, the second week will be minimum. It was a good decision to move towards Peyre. With him, we are always at top speed. I have understood well that I must still put the emphasis on the body. A year ago, I am not certain if I could have kept up with all those tournaments without “ruining” myself. But, up to now, I only exploited 70 % of my potential.” But Peyre, is he not afraid to ask too much too fast from him? No way. “We will work hard and we will have it easier afterwards. Richard is today physically ten times stronger than when I took him over. Tactically, I would like him to position himself more. To install himself four meters behind the baseline to play short balls, won’t do it. He also has to liberate himself from the score line and to attach himself to a strong game; his footwork is also to be improved: and if he sometimes spreads his forehand all over the place, it is because he is too close to the ball. He can also improve his variety on serve and the kicker. You see, there is work to do. What is super is that Richard is listening, he is hungry. When he was winning everything as a youngster, it was because he had that desire deep inside him.” Nothing wrong with that phrase.
Translated by Puschkin from a L’Equipe article posted by jeremi_mani on rg.net on 6 August 2008