French tennis star Richard Gasquet has received a wild card into Antwerp, the tournament organizers announced on Friday. Gasquet, a former world No. 7, has been a regular participant of the Antwerp since the tournament held its inaugural edition in 2016.
Gasquet, 35, is set to make his fifth appearance on the indoor-hard courts of Antwerp. Gasquet made history in Antwerp as he became the tournament's first champion after beating Diego Schwartman in the 2016 final. Gasquet didn't defend his Antwerp title in 2017 but returned to the event a year later and made the semifinal.
After two strong campaigns in Antwerp, Gasquet failed to deliver the same level of tennis at the past two tournament editions. Gasquet picked up back-to-back first round exits in the last two editions and he will certainly be hoping to avoid a third consecutive first round loss in Antwerp.
Xavier Malisse joins Gasquet as a wild card
Former world No. 19 Malisse, who retired in 2014, is set to make a brief return to the Tour after he and Lloyd Harris received a doubles wild card. Malisse, who now works with Harris, will team up with his pupil to play doubles in Antwerp.
Meanwhile, Gasquet recently shared an advice to young players who want to succeed in tennis. "I don’t really take the junior titles into account. In fact, it was when I played in Monte Carlo at 16 that I felt that maybe I could make a career as a pro player.
If I had any advice for a player who wants to give himself the chance to get there, I would tell him to eat and sleep tennis, to be passionate about what he does and to think that tennis during this period while knowing that he will have to suffer to achieve a certain number of his goals," Gasquet said.