Seven years after his last victory in Miami, Richard Gasquet won in three sets against Christopher O’Connell and will now challenge Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Twenty years after his first participation and a retirement in the first round against Jean-René Lisnard, Richard Gasquet started his thirteenth Miami Masters 1000 this Thursday, against Australian Christopher O’Connell, 86th in the world. And it was the 40th player in the world and the French n°1 who won: 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in 1h49. Faced with this player he was facing for the first time, Richard Gasquet proved to be very effective in the first set, breaking his opponent at 1-1 on the second of his two break chances of the set, while only losing two points on his face-off. But in the second set, the scenario was reversed, and it was the Australian who was intractable on his serve. He broke Gasquet at 1-0 and missed three balls at 4-0, but that didn’t stop him from finishing easily, winning all his games in the set at 40-15.
A very big test against Tsitsipas
It was therefore necessary to play a third set, and despite the heat and his 36 years, it was Richard Gasquet who came out of it the best. He won twelve of the first fourteen points of the set to lead 3-0, then broke again at 4-1 and finished without shaking. Casually, Richard Gasquet won a match in Miami for the first time since a round of 16 against Benoit Paire in 2016 (he withdrew in 2017, 2019 and 2021, lost in 2018 and 2022 and the tournament was canceled in 2020). This thirteenth victory in Florida in thirteen appearances allows him to challenge Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round. The two players are 1-1 in the confrontations, but have not played each other since 2018. A hell of a challenge for the French n°1!