Playing a single Major for 20 years is a significant feat requiring two decades of competitive tennis! Six players had achieved that before Roland Garros, and Richard Gasquet joined the list on Tuesday, competing at the home Major for the 20th time.
Feliciano Lopez is the leader of the pack, playing at all four Majors at least 20 times and writing history books. Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Fabrice Santoro and Lleyton Hewitt are also there. The 36-year-old Gasquet added his name to this exclusive company, debuting in Paris in 2002 at 15 and skipping the home event two times due to injuries in 2008 and 2009.
Richard would have had 22 appearances at a single Major with those two entries, something only Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer achieved. Nonetheless, the number 20 is also impressive, and the veteran thinks about ending his career at the next year's Roland Garros, despite still playing competitive tennis at 36.
Richard Gasquet played his 20th Roland Garros this year.
Gasquet faced Arthur Rinderknech in the first round in Paris and suffered a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 loss in three hours and eight minutes, failing to pass the first obstacle at Roland Garros for the sixth time.
Arthur fired 12 aces and ten double faults. He lost serve seven times and grabbed eight return games from ten opportunities to make the difference. Rinderknech saved break points early in the match and stole Gasquet's serve in game four for 3-1.
Richard pulled the break back in game seven and locked the result at 4-4 with a fine hold in the next one. Rinderknech stayed composed and grabbed another break in game ten to claim the opener 6-4. Gasquet took charge in the second set, firing from all cylinders and delivering three straight return games for 5-0.
The veteran held at love in game eight to wrap up the set 6-2 and level the overall score. Richard broke again at the start of the third set before losing steam. Arthur imposed his strokes and grabbed three breaks to take the set 6-2 and earn another advantage.
Richard trailed 5-0 in the fourth set before an impressive comeback. He rattled off five straight games and leveled the score at 5-5 for more drama. The set went into a tie break, and Rinderknech grabbed it 7-4 to seal the deal and celebrate the victory.
Casper Ruud recounts Roger Federer's early Laver Cup heroics
Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to set a new tennis record!
Taylor Fritz candidly confesses how it felt to be watched by Roger Federer
Leylah Fernandez left Roger Federer's On sneakers!
Casper Ruud gets very honest on how it felt to be watched by Roger Federer
Roger Federer hilariously answers Rafael Nadal's question at 2023 Laver Cup