Gasquet apologises for tame defeat
French Open - French number one Richard Gasquet said he felt awful after letting the home fans down again with a second-round defeat by Belgium's Kristof Vliegen at the French Open.
"I sure have had better times," Gasquet, seeded 11th, said after Vliegen brushed him aside 7-6 6-3 6-1.
"I'm still shocked. It wasn't great, to say the least. I sort of evaporated little by little after I lost the first set."
France, waiting for a men's French Open champion since Yannick Noah's triumph in 1983, were hoping Gasquet would give them something to celebrate.
It was not to be, the 20-year-old collapsing after a tight first set in which he wasted three set points to make yet another early exit from his home grand slam tournament.
"I really didn't feel good on the court today," he said. "In the first set I had many set points and I didn't convert them. Afterwards, mentally speaking, I never managed to come back. I was stressed."
Hailed as a great talent for years, Gasquet, the world number 13, has never advanced beyond the third round here in six attempts.
"I felt the court was too big for me," he said. "The people were expecting too much from me and I wanted to do things too well. I put too much pressure on myself and I didn't succeed. I wasn't relaxed at all. It was tough.
"It hurts. Not many matches I have played have been as disappointing as this one to me."