I have two words for everyone in regard to Richard Gasquet this year:
I don't know what it is: the new coach he got after the French last year, not having to worry about Davis Cup, sessions with the world's best sports psychologists or what, but Gasquet has been on a mini-tear. Granted the season's only two weeks ago, but check out what's happened so far:
• He made the semis in Brisbane last week, beating everyone's (mine included) Most Likely French Player to Succeed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga along the way.
• He's made the quarters in Sydney. First up, he beat a player that he was 1-4 against in head-to-heads, defending champ Dmitry Tursunov. Then just today, he knocked off another compatriot, top tenner Gilles Simon.
Next up for him is yet another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, and you have to like his chances in that one. Regardless, though, it's a great start to the year for Gasquet: Two tournaments, two deep runs in two weeks.
Everyone knows he's one of the most talented, versatile players on tour. But everyone knows he's also one of the flakiest players out there. I know in my last post, I mentioned Dominik Hrbaty being named ATP Comeback Player of the Year because of his solid play at the Hopman Cup. But I'd like to take that back because I think Gasquet is due for big things this year.
Why am I even thinking of awards that are months away? I guess I'm psyched to see solid performances again from players who were in a rut, and seeing it be recognized and rewarded in the end.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.