Fatigued Gasquet crashes out of Basel
BASEL — France’s Richard Gasquet put himself in the danger zone for qualifying into the season-ending ATP event next month, as the fatigued fifth seed lost 6-4, 6-2 to compatriot Michael Llodra to exit the Swiss Indoors tournament on Wednesday.
The first-round defeat in 70 minutes still leaves Gasquet standing a provisional ninth in the race for a spot in the eight-man World Tour Finals in London starting a week from Monday.
With the French hope trailing Roger Federer on seventh and Stanislas Wawrinka on eighth, Gasquet has one final chance next week to improve at the Paris Masters as the regular season ends.
Wawrinka is already out in Basel, beaten by Eduardo Roger-Vasselin, while Federer was facing a second-round match later against Denis Istomin.
Gasquet, who lost in the Shanghai first round and rebounded by winning the Moscow title at the weekend, admitted that he was out of energy.
“I was tired after playing a lot of matches,” said the player who qualified for the year-end event in 2007 when it was played in Shanghai.
“It was a long flight from Moscow and the conditions here, the court and the balls, are completely different.
“Plus Michael was playing very well, it was very tough for me today. It’s disappointing to lose but now I need to rest and then try to play well in Paris. It’s my last chance.”
Gasquet’s Moscow success marked his third title of the season, after Doha and Montpellier. He earned his only Basel result of note last year when he reached the semi-finals against eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro.
France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu advanced to the second round as he beat American Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-5.
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