- 25 July 2020 à 12H57
- By Samuel Hamon
Richard Gasquet returns for the second edition of UTS with a heavyweight clash, taking on Grigor Dimitrov, the world No 19 on Saturday. The duel between two of players renowned for their elegance, promises to be a tough one.
"I hope I can go all the way this time!"
After the order of play for the second edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown was announced on Friday, Richard Gasquet showed he was ready but a hard fight awaits him. Grigor Dimitrov, the world No 19 and new to the UTS, will be the first opponent for the Frenchman, who reached the semi-finals of the first edition of the tournament.
Exquisitely balanced, expertly crafted and regally finessed; such are the aesthetics of "Grigor" and "Le Virtuoso". Two players renowned for their sumptuous one-handed backhands and their artistic flair will go face to face in their first match of UTS2.
We know how well Gasquet adapted to the special demands of the innovative UTS format, both technically and in terms of his showmanship. On Saturday, Dimitrov, a former world No 3, will also have to show what he's capable of.
"I think Gasquet will have a slight advantage because he played in the first edition of UTS," said Pete Odgers, one of the two British co-commentators of the event. "He will be used to the noise and the environment of a UTS match. And he also knows the perfect moment to use the UTS cards. Gasquet has an advantage in this unique format. He played exceptionally well in UTS1. He impressed everyone."
"Dimitrov is one of the fastest players on the Tour"
But Bulgarian Dimitrov is not here just to have fun. He has not chosen a nickname, unlike most of the players at UTS, and he is approaching his match with Gasquet in all seriousness.
"Dimitrov reached the semi-finals of the US Open last year," (losing to Daniil Medvedev) said Odgers. "He's a confident player. We know his game. He's one of the fastest players on the Tour. And he can he dangerous from anywhere on the court. Both players will cover the entire court. It should be a fantastic spectacle.""
After recently recovering after testing positive for Covid-19 at the Adria Tour, Dimitrov may need to ease himself in. But if he is not fast enough out of the blocks, Le Virtuoso could leave him behind. The Frenchman is dreaming only of revenge, and of lifting the trophy.