Player: Richard Gasquet
Current Rank: 38
Notable Conquest: Nikolay Davydenko (6th seed, Russia)
Today's Result: loss to Gael Monfils (17th, France) in straight sets
Gasquet is, without a doubt, one of the most puzzling players on the ATP tour. He is 15 days younger than Nadal and when Rafa was first starting to make a splash, expectations for Gasquet were pretty high as well. His talent is immense and he was seen as the leader of a star-studded French generation.
Obviously, things haven't worked out according to plan. Gasquet still has plenty of game but has developed a reputation as a temperamental player, thoroughly capable of beating himself in a given match. There have also been injury problems and an unfortunate, and eventually lifted, drug suspension.
Nonetheless, there have been patches of brilliance and he has certainly established himself as a dangerous opponent on any surface. One gets the sense that if he were to get hot for two weeks, winning a major is not beyond the realm of possibility. But not this year.
Catching Up with Old Friends
Jurgen Melzer (Curtain Call, Roland Garros Day 13) - Without question, it's been a great summer for Melzer. For the third major in a row, he has turned in a career best finish, this time the fourth round. Once again, it's Fed who takes him out. Melzer is 29. There's likely a lot more of his career behind him than in front of him. One hopes he'll look back on his season with pride.
My Tennis Fantasy
With Kuznetsova going down, I've lost one of my finalists. In fact, now both of my semifinalists in the top half of the women's draw are done. I now have all hopes riding on Clijsters and Schiavone.
Like I said yesterday, my men's bracket is pretty well shot but Federer at least held up his end today. Perhaps he'll help me salvage a little pride.