“We need one-handed backhands in the sport” – Gasquet

The Frenchman would like to get back into the top 100 but knows it will be difficult

This week marked the first time since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973 that no player with a single-handed backhand was ranked among the world’s top 10. Frenchman Richard Gasquet, whose one-handed backhand has dazzled tennis fans for more than two decades now, hopes that there will be more of those in the game in the future.

“It’s hard for me to comment. There are a lot of players who hit hard with both hands and fairly flat, at shoulder height, with heavy balls. This has become the stereotype of the modern player,” Gasquet told Tennis Majors. “But I hope there will be more one-handed backhands in the future, even if we were spoilt with Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, who were a bit like the tree that hid the forest. “

“Today, we see less of them even if there is still Grigor Dimitrov, Stefanos Tsitsipas or even Denis Shapovalov. But we need one-handed backhands in the sport. I’m not saying that because I have it but I find that it’s a move that brings more variety to the game, it’s a more technical move.”

On Tuesday, Gasquet won his first round match in Doha, a 6-4, 6-4 win over Alexander Shevchenko. This marked his first win on the main ATP Tour since August. It also marked the 23rd year in a row that he has won a main draw match on the ATP Tour.

Today, if I’m not at 110%, mentally and physically, I don’t win a single match.

Richard Gasquet

The 37-year-old Frenchman is aware that he needs to be at his best to win matches these days and can’t get away with anything less than a 100 percent effort.

“I no longer have an advantage over anyone: I really have to be good to win,” Gasquet said. “Before, even at 60% I won my first rounds but today, if I’m not at 110%, mentally and physically, I don’t win a single match so that’s what’s the most difficult. But I played well last week and that allowed me to arrive here immediately at a good level.”

Gasquet, now ranked 126th in the world, still wants to break back in the top 100 but knows it won’t be easy. “The goal is to get back into the 100 but it’s going to be complicated because it’s still hard, and you have to play a lot of matches. I realize that it’s hard to come back: you can have the level, but it’s not easy to achieve it. I’m already happy to be able to win a few matches last week and here too. But it’s going to be hard. On a given day, I am capable of beating very good players, but to get back into the 100 you have to play a lot and win a lot. And then I’m not 25 anymore… The world No 100 is stronger today than before but if you’re good, you still pass.”

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