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Auckland Open: Gasquet comes from behind to win 16th ATP singles title

The 36-year-old Frenchman becomes the oldest men’s champion in 66-year event history, breaking the record held by Jeff Robson, who won the title in1959, when he was 32

Richard Gasquet, Auckland 2023 Richard Gasquet, Auckland 2023 | © Andrew Cornaga/Photoport/AP/SIPA

Frenchman Richard Gasquet came from 4-1 down in the deciding set to beat second seed Cameron Norrie and win the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland on Saturday.

The 36-year-old former Top 10 player eventually won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 27 minutes to win his 16th career ATP singles title.

The win also makes Gasquet the oldest men’s champion in 66-year event history, breaking the record held by Jeff Robson, who won the title in1959, when he was 32. This was also the Frenchman’s first title since s-Hertogenbosch in 2018 and makes him the second from his nation to win in Auckland (after Ugo Humbert in 2020).

Interestingly, Gasquet and Humbert will clash in the first round of the Australian Open, which begins on Monday in Melbourne.

With this, he also ended Norrie’s perfect start to the new year. The Brit had won six matches in a row, including the United Cup, to begin the 2023 season.

In the previous rounds of the tournament, Gasquet, ranked No 67, defeated Kiwi wildcard Kiranpal Pannu (6-3, 6-1), Portuguese lucky loser João Sousa (7-6 (2), 6-2), Belgian David Goffin (1-6, 6-1, 6-1) and Constant Lestienne (via a walkover).

Norrie, ranked No 12, had scored wins over Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka (6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3), American Marcos Giron (6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2) and American Jenson Brooksby (6-3, 6-4) earlier in the week.

The Brit will begin his quest for a first Grand Slam singles title with an opening round match against French wildcard Luca van Assche at Melbourne Park.

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