Richard Gasquet prevailed in a very tough opener at the Red Letter Days Open, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 against Ivan Navarro Pastor.
"It was difficult out there today with the wind and my opponent has a good serve. I'm happy because I won - it's a good feeling and it was a good test." said Gasquet.
"It's important to do well here (to protect ranking points) and it's nice to be back in Nottingham again where I won last year. I won here last year so if I play well, why not again this year! But there are a lot of very good players here so we'll see."
In the first match of his title defence Richard met with stern resistance, and after winning the first set, he was pegged back as Navarro Pastor levelled at one set all and the match went to a tense decider.
It was Richard who managed to edge out the tight third set with a key break of serve to take it 7-5. In this very close match, Richard only won one point more than his Spanish opponent, but enjoyed some good serving statistics as he hit 66% first serves.
Next up for Richard is Daniele Bracciali of Italy. In the first round he defeated Spain's Almagro in three sets. Richard has played Bracciali once before on the ATP circuit. He beat the Italian at last year's Roland Garros in four sets.
Let's Go Richard!