Gasquet: I’d love Federer’s forehand
Originally published on: 29/05/12 00:00
Perhaps something of an underachiever given his sublime early promise, former world No.7 Richard Gasquet has never been beyond the fourth round at his home Grand Slam. The Frenchman made his main draw debut at Roland Garros 10 years ago, aged 15 years and 11 months, and won junior titles at the French and US Open. Still only 25, the world No.20 is confident his best years are ahead of him.
You’ve been on tour for 10 years now, do you feel like one of the older players?
“I was very young when I started, at 16, 17. Now for sure I am older – I’m 26 this June – but still young. There are not a lot of players that are 25, 26. More of them are 30, 31. So I think I am still young and have some great years ahead to play tennis. I really like tennis now, I like the travel and that’s the most important thing.”
A lot of people love watching your backhand. Do you have a favourite shot?
“My backhand for sure. There are not a lot of players playing with a one-handed backhand. I see a lot of young players just with two hands, so I really prefer playing with one. It is more beautiful, it is more classy. When I see Federer, I really like watching him play with the backhand. It’s my favourite shot and I hope a lot of players will play one-handed in the future. I think it’s more beautiful.”
Is technique, playing beautifully, something that’s really important to you?
"Players in France always have good technique. I practised a lot with my father when I was younger and he always tried to teach me good technique. I really like the game, I really like when I play good with the backhand. It’s something that is important for me. Some players focus more on physical education but when I was younger I liked to play just for the beauty of the game. That’s why I think I have good technique."
You’ve worked with Yannick Noah (the last Frenchman to win at Roland Garros) in the past and you’re currently taking guidance from Sebastian Grosjean. Has input from those great players helped?
"Sebastian is a good friend of mine. We started working together last year and now I am playing better. I think he helped me a lot. He has a lot of experience. Same for Yannick. He is one of the most charismatic guys in the world."
What one shot would you add to your game from any player, past or present?
"I would love to have Federer’s forehand. If I had the forehand of Federer I think I would be better."
VIDEO: Richard Gasquet shows his early promise in beating a 13-year-old Rafael Nadal at junior level.