Richard defeated his compatriot David Guez in the first round of Melbourne 7-5 6-4 6-1. His next opponent is Nikolaj Davydenko.
After Richard himself was rather pessimistic last week about his physical condition and had retired from the Kooyong final, it was good to see him play this match. Clearly better physically, notably on serve, but still a bit hesitant on the backhand, he had to make up twice for a break in the first set. At the tail end of the second set, it was him, however, who succeeded a break which brought him the first set 7-5.
In the second set, which was the worst qualitywise, Guez again broke Richard, but could not hold on to his advantage. Three more breakpoints for Guez came and went. As it happens so often in tennis, the one not using his chances is broken himself in the next game. Richard won the second set 6.4.
The third set was a one-sided affair for Richard, with more aggression and variety than earlier on, he finished off his compatriot quickly for a 7-5 6-4 6-1 victory.