Gasquet lucky loser winner

Gasquet lucky loser winner
By Eurosport

22/05/2006 at 21:42Updated

Richard Gasquet made the most of his lucky loser status as he beat third seed Dominik Hrbaty in the first round of the ATP Portschach. The young Frenchman put on a good display to ease past the Slovakian in three sets, 6-0 4-6 6-3.

Gasquet was ousted from the tournament on Sunday by an unknown Italian, Leonardo Azzaro, ranked 312th in the world.

However the Roland Garros hopeful benefited from German Rainer Schuettler's forfeit from the Austrian tournament due to flu, to claim a lucky loser ticket back into the tournament, where he faced Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty.

Despite his top seed status, Gasquet had chosen to play the qualifying round to accumulate matches in the week leading to the French Open, to gain match fitness and be psychologically ready for his home grand slam tournament.

His preparation had been hindered after he pulled an abdominal muscle in a Davis Cup match in April against Russia, forcing him to cancel his plans of taking part in the Monte Carlo and Rome Masters Series.

He came back in Hamburg last week, only to lose to promising Belgian talent Kristof Vliegen in the first round.

The win against Hrbaty will have boosted his morale and with a few more wins under his belt Gasquet will be able to look forward to Roland Garros with considerably more optimism than might have been.

He plays Austrian Jurgen Melzer in the next round.