Italian defeats Richard Gasquet in a measured manner, hinting at more to come.

Jannik Sinner, Roland-Garros 2024, second round

In his encounter on Wednesday night on Court Philippe-Chatrier against Jannik Sinner, 38-year-old Richard Gasquet demonstrated for a few games that he still had fight left in his veteran legs.

However, in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory, the 22-year-old Italian overcame the Frenchman, an ardent evening-session audience, and his own body to prevent a spectacular second-round shock at Roland-Garros for the second consecutive year.

The match’s narrative
Sinner suffered his first-ever defeat at Roland-Garros against a player outside the top 10 in his brief career last year, falling to Germany’s Daniel Altmaier in a five-set, five-and-a-half-hour second-round match. However, as we can see now, it was only a stopgap on the way to the incredible heights the Italian has since attained.

Even though it was difficult to determine who of the two players was the Australian Open champion and future world No. 1 throughout the first six games, Sinner showed little evidence of having any wounds from the loss to Gasquet. For the opening six games, the Frenchman, who last defeated a top-10 player at a Grand Slam eight years ago, held steady against Sinner, with neither player facing a break point.

That changed at 3-3, as Sinner served out a one-set lead in less than an hour after breaking Gasquet to love, saving a break point in the eighth game, and failing to convert two set chances in the ninth.

Jannik Sinner, Roland-Garros 2024, second round
©FFT / Corinne Dubreuil
The tension left the Chatrier roof swiftly and remained out of sight for nearly the whole game. In the opening game of the second set, Sinner stopped Gasquet from having a game point. He then broke twice to double his lead, dropping only three games on his own service during the set. After Sinner broke in the first game and won eight of the first nine points, a scene such to this one materialized in the third.

However, Gasquet gave the reprise his final surge of vigor, while Sinner’s energy took an unusual turn for the worse.

In the fourth game, the veteran broke back, but he wouldn’t last long. In the wildcard’s subsequent service game, Sinner broke for the fifth and final time, and from that point on, he used little energy to strain himself physically in between points in order to cross the finish line.

Important statistics
With the win, Sinner’s record against Gasquet increased to 3-0 all-time, and he now has victories against the Frenchman on all three of the major surfaces.

Speaking of winning streaks, the Italian is currently 9-0 at Grand Slams this year and has reduced Gasquet’s record against the top 2 players in the majors to 0-13 overall.

Sinner’s triumph was aided by eight aces and 38 winners, while Gasquet managed just 18 winners.

Jannik’s perspective

Sinner was full of praise for the seasoned Gasquet, who made his Roland-Garros debut in 2002—the year the Italian was born.

“The ambiance has been incredible. It’s a very, very fair crowd, I know you guys were rooting for Richard,” he continued. He provided so lot for tennis as a player and continues to do so. He is such a pleasure to have around, and his tennis game is absolutely amazing.

However, the Italian also gave his competitors a subdued warning shot in the same breath. He believes he can improve even if he hasn’t yet dropped a set. Sinner deemed the victory “for sure, better” than his first-round victory over American Christopher Eubanks, as he continues to recover from a hip issue that hindered his training for Roland-Garros.

He remarked, “We try to keep practicing and trying to get better every day.” “I’m excited to work on improving a few things, as I know I can still do so.”

Sinner will make his fourth attempt to advance to the fourth round against Pavel Kotov, the Wednesday night victor against Stan Wawrinka.

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