Richard Gasquet turned again the clock with a classic show in Saturday’s ASB Traditional last to say his first ATP Tour title since 2018. The 36-year-old Frenchman shocked second seed and former Auckland resident Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, profitable the ultimate 5 video games of the match to turn out to be the oldest champion within the occasion’s 66-year historical past.
The previous World No. 7 final raised a tour-level title greater than 4 years in the past in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The Auckland triumph, which lifted him 25 spots to No. 42 within the Pepperstone ATP Stay Rankings this week, is simply the second outside onerous courtroom triumph of his profession (Doha 2013). It’s the sixteenth title of his embellished profession.
Gasquet denied Norrie a full-circle second on the match he as soon as attended as a younger fan, with the Briton thwarted within the last of the ATP 250 for a second time in 5 years. The defeat is his first of the brand new season, dropping him to 6-1 on the yr.
In a matchup that pitted Gasquet’s iconic one-handed backhand towards Norrie’s flat two-hander, the Frenchman proved he nonetheless has loads of substance to go together with his model. Each males had numerous alternatives to hit groundstrokes off each wings throughout many marathon rallies, nevertheless it was Gasquet who stood tallest down the stretch after falling behind 0-3 and 1-4 within the last set.
Towards a person identified for his health, the Frenchman was electrical in his late cost as he attacked with the shotmaking aptitude that has outlined profession — however solely after his dogged defending introduced up these alternatives to step into the courtroom.
Gasquet’s victory retains the Auckland title in French palms, after Ugo Humbert gained the earlier version of the occasion in 2020. The match was not performed previously two seasons as a result of COVID-19.
Norrie, whose six wins lead the ATP Tour on the younger season, falls to 4-8 in tour-level finals. He reached his first last in Auckland in 2019, falling to Tennys Sandgren.
Extra to come back…
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