Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet: French Open Preview and Prediction
Tenth seed Roberto Bautista Agut begins his French Open campaign against the local favourite, Richard Gasquet.
Agut is coming into this tournament after a straight-set loss to Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the Hamburg Open.
Gasquet chose to skip playing tournaments on clay after losing in the second round of the US Open against Alex De Minaur in four sets.
Head to Head record
Agut leads the head to head record 6-2 against Gasquet. This is their first meeting on the clay surface.
After recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss most of the summer, Gasquet is playing on the red dirt in his first outing after close to a year.
Agut is the player in form and is blessed with impressive counterpunching skills and tremendous mental strength. Gasquet has lost in the opening round six times in his last 12 grand slam appearances indicating his inconsistent form in the majors.
Electrifying cross-court rallies can be expected from both the players as they possess consistent groundstrokes on clay.
Despite achieving huge success on hard-courts and grass in his career, Agut is yet to reap rich dividends on clay. He needs to produce flawless tennis is he wishes to have a deep run in this year's tournament.
Nearing the twilight of his career, Gasquet would be inspired by his home crowd to get some positive results under his belt. Being a former quarter-finalist in the French Open, he would be motivated to repeat his exploits.
Agut has failed to cross the fourth round of the French Open and will look to breach the barrier this time.
Gasquet's powerful single-handed backhand is a potent weapon but his forehand remains vulnerable. He needs to play fast tennis from the start and use his all-court positioning to unsettle Agut.
Though Agut has an abysmal 74-50 win-loss record on clay, his running forehand down the line can do a lot of damage on the slow surface.
Prediction - Roberto Bautista Agut to win in four sets
Featured image credits: Associated Press