Richard Gasquet vs Marco Cecchinato
July 12, 2021 9:00 am EDT
Fifth seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet will face unseeded Marco Cecchinato of Italy in the First Round of the 2021 Nordea Open held in Bastad, Sweden. The match is scheduled to be played on Monday July 12th, 2021 at a time yet to be determined.
This is set to be a fascinating match between two seasoned ATP Tour veterans. Richard Gasquet and Marco Cecchinato will square off for a spot in the Round of 16 here at the Swedish Open, and this is perhaps one of the most even matches of the First Round. Gasquet is the favorite on paper as he has the higher ranking, but the Italian has an extensive clay-court CV and won’t go away quietly. Who will get the win and advance here at the Nordea Open?
Richard Gasquet is the world number 56, and is seeded fifth here at the Nordea Open. The Frenchman was formerly ranked inside the top 10 and was one of the most hyped-up juniors ever, but has seen his ranking slowly go lower and lower every season in recent times. Still capable of some strong tennis, he has been inconsistent this season and has failed to make an ATP Tour Semi-Final in 2021. After disappointing showings at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, he will be hoping for a strong performance in Sweden where he has had success in the past, being a Finalist here in 2018. He enters this match against Marco Cecchinato as the favorite, but will be wary of his opponent’s strong clay-court play and should expect a battle.
Marco Cecchinato is unseeded here at the Nordea Open and is ranked #86 in the ATP rankings. The Italian burst to prominence in 2018 where he won two ATP titles and reached the Roland Garros Semis. That year catapulted him into the top 20, and big things were expected of him. However, he has spectacularly failed to live up to those expectations, suffering a shocking decline in form and ranking, finding himself outside the top 100 recently. He has had some solid results this year and has began the slow climb back up the charts, and will be hoping for a strong showing this week here at the Nordea Open. He is a very strong baseline player, with one of the best backhands on tour. While he is the slight underdog here against Richard Gasquet, he has had more success on this surface lately than the Frenchman, and will be liking his chances.
This is the second time that the two men have played against each other, and Gasquet won their only meeting earlier this year, winning in straight sets on hard courts. I see this match being a very close affair, but I have to go with Richard Gasquet here. He has been in poor form, but has remained relatively constant in his performances lately while Cecchinato has been up and down. It should go the distance, but I’m taking the Frenchman to edge it in three sets.