Richard Gasquet matches Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer is next!

Richard Gasquet has scored an ATP win in every year since 2002

by Jovica Ilic
Richard Gasquet matches Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer is next!
© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Richard Gasquet scored his first victory of the season in Doha, ousting Alexander Shevchenko 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 29 minutes. Thus, the veteran clinched an ATP win for the 23rd consecutive season, matching Rafael Nadal and moving closer to Roger Federer's record of 24.

Richard kicked off the season with four straight losses in Auckland, the Australian Open, Montpellier and Marseille. He competed in the Manama Challenger last week, reaching the final and shifting that form to Doha. Gasquet turns 38 in June, and the desire for tennis is still there after dropping outside the top-100 at the beginning of the season for the first time since April 2005.

Richard led the 1986 generation alongside Rafael Nadal, earning notable results in 2002 and deserving his first ATP wild cards.

Richard Gasquet, Australian Open 2024© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Gasquet's first ATP win came in Monte Carlo 2002, defeating Franco Squillari 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 24 minutes, notching his first ATP triumph at 15.

Richard added two ATP wins to his tally in 2003 and never looked back, setting into a nice rhythm in 2005 and wrapping up the season in the top-15 despite standing outside the top-150 in March! Thus, the Frenchman embraced one of the longest top-100 streaks, spending 956 consecutive weeks in the mentioned group despite injury setbacks.

Richard collected a respectable 26 wins in 2022, finishing in the top-70 and notching another year-end top-100 season. The veteran made a perfect start to the 2023 season, conquering the Auckland title over Cameron Norrie and winning his first trophy since June 2018.

Richard Gasquet scored an ATP win in 23 consecutive seasons.

Richard lost the form after that, failing to win back-to-back matches until May. The Frenchman lost his top-50 status and wrapped up the year with five straight losses.

Gasquet needed a deep run in Auckland at the beginning of 2024 to stay in the top-100, which did not happen. The veteran fell to his countryman Arthur Fils in the first round, dropping 250 ATP points and ending his top-100 journey.

Richard turned the tables this week in Doha, playing well and delivering an ATP win in the 23rd consecutive season. Gasquet outplayed Shevchenko behind the first and second serve, defending both break points and providing a single break in each set from seven opportunities.

Richard Gasquet, Australian Open 2024© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The former champion held at love in the second game of the encounter and seized the fourth break point at 1-1 after an extended rally and Shevchenko's forehand error.

Gasquet painted a backhand down the line winner in the fourth game, holding at love and cementing the advantage. Richard denied a break point in the sixth game with a beautiful serve & volley combo and held for 4-2. The veteran clinched the eighth game at love and served for the opener at 5-4.

Gasquet forced the rival's mistake, closing the first set in 39 minutes and hoping for more in set number two. Alexandre missed a forehand in the first game, losing serve and pushing his rival closer to the finish line. The Frenchman saved a break point in game two with a forehand crosscourt winner and moved 3-1 up after deuces in game four following a volley winner at the net.

Gasquet held at 15 in game six with a forehand winner and gained a 5-3 advantage after Shevchenko's forehand error two games later. The Kazakh faced two match points on serve in game nine, saving them and prolonging the battle.

Leaving those chances behind, Richard painted a backhand winner at 5-4, sealing the deal and celebrating his first victory of the season.

Richard Gasquet Rafael Nadal Roger Federer