Exactly fifteen years after his first win against Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Masters, Eurosport interviewed Richard Gasquet to see what memories the French keeps of this victory. His best, perhaps… “One of the most talked-about, anyway,” Gasquet said.
“It was the match that made me "explode" for good in the eyes of people, after a difficult 2004 season during which I had trouble confirming the expectations that had rested on me for so many years. There is the victory and there is the scenario, too, with this pretty incredible match ball, which remains in me as a strong image.
I fire a backhand passing at the end of the race, I see Federer beaten at the net, and I realize that I just beat him ... This passing, I did it again a few times later in my career but this one there, it remains in me ... Of course, there was a lot in this victory.
I've heard a lot about it. But unlike the victory over Squillari [Gasquet’s first Masters 1000 victory, at the age of 15] three years earlier, that victory did me good. At 15, I had difficulty managing the fact that I had become a ‘fair-ground phenomenon’.
There, this time, I was ready. Besides, I had a great season after that”. Gasquet won the match 6-7, 6-2, 7-6(8) in two hours and twenty minutes. He later bowed out to Rafael Nadal in semi-final. "It became a huge game," the French added. "And the more it progressed, the more I believed in it."