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Stuttgart (Germany), June 15 – French tennis player Richard Gasquet put in a vintage performance to secure his 600th career win on Thursday, defeating top seed and World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(8), 2-6, 7-5, here.
With this, the 36-year old Gasquet became the fourth active player to reach the 600-win milestone, joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
“It’s a big achievement for me. It’s incredible to achieve it. I played 20 years on the Tour and to win 600 matches, it’s big for me. I’m very happy with this number. Of course I will try to win some morem”, Gasquet said in his on-court interview.
Gasquet, who will turn 37 on Sunday, needed five match points in the final game to defeat Tsitsipas and ultimately clinched the win with his second break of the match.
The Frenchman relied on his stylish ground game to edge the Greek, repeatedly wrong-footing his opponent with clever angles and changes of direction. He also dominated on serve, winning 81 per cent of his first-serve points and losing serve just once outside of a one-sided middle set.
The victory is Gasquet’s 36th against Top 10 opponents (36-113) and his 11th against the Top 5 (11-62). It is also his first Top 10 win since he beat Daniil Medvedev last May in Geneva.
Gasquet had not competed in Stuttgart since 2008, with the tournament switching from red clay to grass in 2015. In his fourth appearance at the event, he will next face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) winner against fifth seed Tommy Paul earlier on Thursday.
For Tsitsipas, the defeat in his first grass-court match of the season snapped a 10-match winning streak against French opposition. He also dropped to 1-2 overall against Gasquet, with both defeats coming on grass (‘s-Hertogenbosch 2018).