Masters Player Profiles: Federer & Gasquet

Monte Carlo Masters Players

Over the years the Monte Carlo Masters has been dominated by clay court specialists. A glance at the list of Monte Carlo Masters winners will show that the same competitors have won the event over and over again. Ilie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas, Mats Wilander, Bjorn Borg, and more recently Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal have all won the tournament on more than one occasion. Nadal has won a record 4 Monte Carlo Masters titles, becoming only the second player since Anthony Wilding in 1914 to do so.

Roger Federer

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final of the Rolex ATP Tennis Masters Monte Carlo at the The Monte Carlo Country Club on April 23, 2006 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

There is one man, however, who can never be discounted,  the former World number one-ranked player – Roger Federer. Although clay is not his preferred surface, Federer has reached the finals on three occasions, only to be beaten by his nemesis, Rafael Nadal.

The one title that is missing from Federer’s resume is the French Open, also played on clay. Without a victory at Roland Garros, Federer will never make the coveted Grand Slam of tennis – holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

Federer has won 13 Grand Slam singles titles, four Masters Cup titles and 14 ATP Masters Series titles. It would be foolish to underestimate this outstanding athlete, and it will not be too long before he learns to master the clay surfaces of Monte Carlo and Roland Garros in the same emphatic way that he has mastered grass and hard court surfaces.

Richard Gasquet

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Richard Gasquet of France during his second round victory against Kristof Vliegen of Belgium on Day five of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 23, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)The 22-year-old Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, is definitely a contender for the Monte Carlo Masters title. He has recently reached his career high ranking of no.7 in the world, and at the 2007 Monte Carlo Masters he reached the quarterfinals, only to be beaten by Spaniard, Juan Carlos Ferrero in three sets 5-7, 7-7, 6-2.

The talented Monte Carlo Masters player made his Grand Slam debut in 2002 at the French Open at the tender age of 15 years, 11 months. A year later he became the youngest player to reach the ATP Top 100. He stunned the world in 2005 when he beat Roger Federer 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters, only to fall prey to eventual champion, Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

His form to date has been exemplary, and British TV presenter, Barry Cowan, is reported to have said that Gasquet is “naturally more talented than Federer”. He reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2007, beating American Andy Roddick with an incredible 93 winners, but fell to eventual champion, Federer in the semifinals. In 2008 he made it to the third round, but was defeated by American tennis player Sam Querry.

Richard Gasquet’s Monte Carlo Masters record:

  • 2002 – 2nd round
  • 2003 – 1st round
  • 2005 – semifinals
  • 2007 – quarterfinals
  • 2008 – 3rd round