2013 Sony Open: History of Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet
The Scot and Frenchman have had a long history dating back to 2006, wherein Gasquet secured his only straight-set win ever against Murray (6-2, 7-5 in the Masters Rogers Cup semifinals—the highlights for this match are not available online).
Out of their other seven matches, only one was a straight-set match, which shows how effectively each player grinds the other's game down.
Gasquet has the patience and game to match up well against the Scot. However, while he is often off to a quick start, he tends to run low on gas in these encounters.
With Murray leading their head-to-head 5-3, let's have a look at their matches in the past in order to better predict where their futures lie.
2007 Masters Series Paris: Gasquet Wins 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
This match was the second straight win that Gasquet recorded over Murray. However, the Scot would have his number in five of the next six meetings.
It was apparent that the Frenchman's game matched up exceptionally well against the very patient and crafty player from Great Britain.
Two young athletes with tremendous talents in their backhands would see each other a few more times down the road in matches that would also go the distance.
2008 Wimbledon: Murray Wins 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-4
In their most historic and memorable battle, these two young guns put on a show under the Centre Court lights.
Murray would come back from a two-sets-to-love deficit against Gasquet (one of at least two occurrences in his career) and flex his bicep at the crowd after the victory, signifying that his fitness was the determinant of the outcome.
Just one year prior to that tournament, Richard Gasquet came back from two sets down against Andy Roddick to book his spot in the Wimbledon semifinals. Somehow it seems that when he wins the first set, his likelihood of winning against the higher-ranked players goes down.
Perhaps he gets too excited or cannot keep up his game after he starts out well because he can certainly come back from a deficit in big matches.
2010 French Open: Murray Wins 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
Gasquet was red-hot to begin this match, but it seemed the only way he could get the job done was in three straight sets (which is way too tough a task to ask for against a top seed in the first round).
To be fair, Richard Gasquet was still physically drained from the incredible final he won against Fernando Verdasco in Nice and was not able to move his day of play back. But he could not keep the level of fitness or mental stability up as Murray simply waited for him to subside in energy.
2011 Wimbledon: Murray Wins 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2
The first set of this match was highly competitive, though Gasquet could not get into any of his opponent's service games.
This rematch of their epic five-setter three years prior did not live up to expectations.
The home crowd got to see their guy move through in straight sets while Gasquet had to go back to the drawing board for the rest of the year.
Again, this is a classic example of the French athlete starting off strongly but collapsing in seemingly no time at all after the loss (or, more often, capture) of a set.
2012 Masters Series Rome: Gasquet Wins 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-2
This match was indicative of how each player's clay season was going last year.
Gasquet pulled out a tough comeback win and was starting to get his mojo back, while Murray was continuing to struggle in those few months.
This match did not have a very dramatic ending—the tide simply changed, and Gasquet went on his way.
2012 French Open: Murray Wins 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
This match, played on familiar home soil, seemed to be in the Frenchman's control until the second set was stolen away from him.
A downward spiral ensued for the remainder of this match, wherein the crowd being against Murray had nothing to do with the final result.
Here is a fun fact: In six of the eight matches these two have played, Gasquet won the first set. However, he only won two of those six affairs.
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