Gasquet struggles to find form

2010-04-12 19:13

Monte Carlo - Although his suspension ordeal after a positive test for cocaine is now just an unpleasant memory, Richard Gasquet is still struggling to recapture his old form.

Gasquet, who burst into the limelight in 2005 when he beat Roger Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals, laboured to a 6-2 4-6 6-2 first round win over Spanish qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the principality on Monday.

"Things got mixed up in my head all of a sudden," the 23-year-old Frenchman told reporters.

Last May, Gasquet was suspended after testing positive for cocaine at the Sony Ericsson Open in Florida.

However the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in December that he had been inadvertently contaminated by kissing a woman in a nightclub.

Gasquet, a former world number seven, said he did not have too many complaints. "Of course it was very hard, but hey, I'm a tennis player, I don't have to go to the factory every morning," he said.

Gasquet, who has dropped to 79th in the ATP rankings, said he was now looking to break into the top 20.

"I'm targeting top 30, top 20. Top 10 is too soon to tell, it's another level," he said. "Things could have been worse. I could have a three-digit ranking."

Gasquet will next face Czech Tomas Berdych, who eased into the second round by beating Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-1.

Berdych, seeded 10th, built on the form that allowed him to reach the Miami Masters final earlier this month to advance.

Argentine David Nalbandian, who underwent hip surgery last year, was quick to make his mark on the Monte Carlo clay with a 6-3 6-1 demolition of Germany's Andreas Beck.

First Round Results:

David Nalbandian, Argentina, def. Andreas Beck, Germany, 6-3, 6-1.
Ernests Gulbis, Latvia, def. Marco Chiudinelli, Switzerland, 6-3, 6-2.
Andrey Golubev, Kazakhstan, def. Jeremy Chardy, France, 6-2, 7-6 (2).
Nicolas Almagro, Spain, def. Simon Greul, Germany, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Tomas Berdych (10), Czech Republic, def. Feliciano Lopez, Spain, 6-3, 6-1.
Julien Benneteau, France, def. Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr., Ukraine, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
Philipp Petzschner, Germany, def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
David Ferrer (11), Spain, def. Peter Luczak, Australia, 6-2, 6-4.
Richard Gasquet, France, def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Spain, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany, def. Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Benjamin Becker, Germany, def. Bernard Tomic, Australia, 6-4, 6-2.
Juan Carlos Ferrero (9), Spain, def. Marcel Granollers, Spain, 6-0, 6-3.