The 32-year-old Richard Gasquet, the winner of 15 ATP titles from 31 finals and a top-100 player for the last 14 years, managed to win 30 ATP matches for the 12th time in the previous 14 seasons in 2018, reaching three ATP finals and lifting the crown in s-Hertogenbosch.
After four straight losses in February and March, Richard was on the lowest ranking position since September 2010 at the beginning of April before bouncing back to advance into the quarter-final in Monte Carlo where he lost to Rafael Nadal.
Despite an early exit at Wimbledon, Richard returned into the top-30 in July and finished the season in that group following the semi-final run in Tokyo and Antwerp. Richard defeated Denis Shapovalov in the opening round of the home Paris Masters before a 6-3, 6-3 loss to the defending champion Jack Sock in the second round, announcing he is dealing with a groin injury that put the participation at the Davis Cup final against Croatia in Lille in doubt.
As expected, Richard failed to recover in time, unable to help his teammates who lost all three singles matches against the Croats to stay empty-handed in front of the partisan crowd. Gasquet tried everything to get ready for the new season and his efforts were in vain, withdrawing from the first Grand Slam of the season and skipping all the action in February after a groin (a hernia) surgery that he underwent on January 17.
Everything went well and the Frenchman started the recovery process that took more than three months, withdrawing from Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo before making a comeback in Madrid, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round before losing 6-2, 6-3 to Roger Federer.
In Rome, Jeremy Chardy halted him in the first round in three sets and Gasquet wanted more matches under his belt before the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros, taking a wild card for the next week's ATP 250 event in Lyon for a debut at this event.
Denis Shapovalov took the first wild card yesterday and they will join John Isner, Milos Raonic, Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy, Jan-Lennard Struff, Reilly Opelka, Tomas Berdych in the main draw that should provide great matches from the very first round.