Category Archives: Nice

Almagro Wins Nice

It would seem Nicolas Almagro has chosen the perfect time to peak. The Spaniard has won Nice over night defeating Victor Hanescu 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 and says he is now ready of Roland Garros.

“I think I’m ready for Roland Garros. I want to rest a little bit now, tomorrow I want to practise, and we’ll see what happens on Tuesday. It’s the most important clay-court tournament of the year and I go with a lot of confidence in my tennis and we’ll see what I can do in Paris. Read more »

Roddick’s Race To Be Fit For French Open

It seemed odd that Andy Roddick pulled out of the Rome doubles finals with an injury only to make his way to Nice for the last tournament before Roland Garros. It seemed ridiculous to risk any further injury prior to Wimbledon which, lets face it, is his only real chance for a Grand Slam. Roddick may need to play to find some form but it seems that the big serving American has come to the conclusion that playing Nice is not the right decision with the French Open starting on Sunday.

Roddick has said if he’s not 100% ready for Roland Garros he will not play. Read more »

>Player Of The Month: Fernando Verdasco

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Rafael Nadal’s accomplishments over the last few weeks go without saying but it is, to a certain extent, expected that he will dominate the clay court season.

Aside from Rafa there are a few players who have stood out this month (May), such as Ernests Gulbis, who’s flashy play made Federer go home with his tail between his legs. Sam Stosur has been in fine form as she moved inside the top ten and won a title in Charlestown.

Fernando Verdasco has played an incredible clay court season and deserved to be player of the month. Verdasco was a winner at Barcelona, finalist at Nice and Monte Carlo and a semi-finalist in Rome. The Spanish number two blasted winners and serves all over the clay courts of Europe and managed to star in FHM and head across the water to New York for the MET Gala.

When he’s had his clothes on Fernando has played so well, and so frequently that he was only really beaten by Nadal or fatigue, recently looking gaunt at Roland Garros. Sure, he may have made a mistake in accepting a a wild card to Nice when he should have been resting ahead of Roland Garros, but he has played brilliantly on clay and produced some awe inspiring shots and is more than worthy of the tile of Player of the Month.

>Andy Murray Survives A Five Set Battle With Gasquet

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Andy Murray has survived his much hyped opening round match at Roland Garros against Richard Gasquet, winning in 5 sets 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 after almost 4 hours of play.

Against Richard Gasquet, the recent winner of Nice, Andy Murray was always going to have to work hard to ignore the favouritism of the crowd, while finding away to keep his intensity up. At 4-4, with both players having had numerous break point chances in a high quality match, the crowd started chanting “Richard! Richard!” as Gasquet served to successfuly force Murray to serve to stay in the match. Too many drop shots, and incredible angles from his beautiful single handed backhand brought up double set point for the Frenchman. As Murray dumped another volley in the net, the French crowd leapt to their feet to applaud the 6-4 set.

As the second set started Gasquet maintained his form, placing some beautiful volleys when he came to the net. The fact that the match was being played on the second event court, rather than on center court, favoured the Frenchman, who’s request for the court was granted, reducing the area around the court for Murray to run down balls.

Forcing Murray to go for more and more, Gasquet got a break point chance in the fourth game, but was unable to convert. As the games continued, and the high quality points continued to force each player to play brilliant shots, Gasquet began to show signs of fatigue, repeatedly looking up to his box for support, and at times in irritation.

When he won Nice, Gasquet said he was exhausted, just two days later he found himself embroiled in a 5 set tussle against the Scot, who, after a recent poor showing at Masters events, was determined not to be sent packing early. Unfortunately for Richard the stats were against him, having lost 8 of his last 9 five set matches. The fitness of Andy Murray and the fatigue of the Frenchman ultimately played a roll in the outcome.

After the match Richard said he was “really, really tired, so it’s hard in Grand Slam especially against Murray. He’s always fighting, fighting, putting all the balls in the court. He’s running well. I was close, but I didn’t… It was really, really hard for me to finish the match. He played well, and in a Grand Slam you have to be 100 percent to win, especially against Andy.” – Richard Gaquet


“It was tough. He was just ripping balls. I looked up at one point and he’d hit, like, 59 winners and 30 unforced errors. When I saw he was struggling, I just kept moving him about as much as possible. There were a lot of long rallies and, as the match went on, I started to win more and more of them.” – Andy Murray

>Verdasco Set To Star In Nice Final

>Fernando Verdasco and his heavily strapped elbow have passed Leonardo Mayer to book a place in the finals in Nice against Richard Gasquet. After 1 hour 41 minutes Verdasco walked away the victor with a 7-6, 7-5 win. In winning his semi-final match Verdasco claimed his 30th win of the season, only surpassed by David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal, however, the issue is that his body appears to be showing signs of distress.

After looking exhausted in Rome, and then regaining his momentum in Madrid, one has to wonder why Verdasco, who won Barcelona, felt the need to play another tournament in the lead up to Roland Garros.

Richard Gasquet is looking for his first title since 2007, and a good start leading into Roland Garros where he will face Andy Murray in the first round.