After squandering five match points in a dramatic 26-point, second-set tie-break, Frenchman Richard Gasquet recovered from within two points of defeat to beat Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-7(12) 7-6(3). Gasquet was in deep trouble in the early and late stages of the third set, but ultimately prevailed in 3 hrs., 20 mins. to set up a second-round meeting with Dominik Hrbaty.
Source: Monte Carlo website
Verdasco opened a 2-0 lead early in the third set and had two game points for a 3-0 lead before Gasquet broke back and ultimately served for the match at 5-4. However, the Frenchman was broken through a combination of scorching Verdasco winners and a poor drop shot from midcourt at 0/15 which found the middle of the net. In his next service game, at 5/6, Gasquet fell behind 0/30 to be within two points of defeat, but a tiring Verdasco failed to deliver the killer blow.
Gasquet reached the semifinals here in 2005, upsetting World No. 1 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. Last year the 20-year-old missed the tournament with an abdominal injury. He made his Monte-Carlo debut as a 15-year-old in 2002 and defeated Franco Squillari in the first round.
Wednesday's order of play:
Richard vs. Hrbaty, fourth on Court Centrale, with play beginning at 10.00am CET.