Richard Gasquet, 35, acknowledged he had to "fight" in order to beat former world No. 10 Lucas Pouille at the Orleans Challenger. Gasquet, ranked at No. 81 in the world, recovered from a set down to beat Pouille 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the Orleans round-of-16.
“I fought well. I'm not 20 anymore, I have to fight. The games were difficult, Lucas hits hard, he has a big serve. So I had to fight to win this match. I've played a lot, I've trained a lot lately. I think I will recover to be 100%.
I feel better physically than last year. I hope to continue my momentum. All opponents are good. But it is certain that I take more pleasure in this victory," Gasquet said, per We love Tennis.
Gasquet was on the verge of losing in straight sets
Pouille earned the first break of the match in the sixth game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to clinch the opener.
Pouille threatened Gasquet early in the second set but the 35-year-old saved break points in the first and third game. Pouille had a 5-4 lead in the second-set tie-break and two serves to close out the match but Gasquet then won three points in a row to force a decider.
Gasquet blew an early third-set break but he broke Pouille again in the seventh and ninth game to complete a comeback win. Recently, Gasquet acknowledged the greatness of record 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
“There are young guys who play very, very well, who have a good level, who deserve to find their place and who are incredible, but Nadal and Federer, they are world stars! When they're not there, for me, it leaves a huge void.
Federer will be irreplaceable in terms of aesthetics, tennis and for his personality. We will never see that again," Gasquet said.