Gasquet, preferred to Gael Monfils for the second singles berth,
played some sublime tennis to subdue the world No.6 6-3 6-2 6-3 at a
sun-baked Roland Garros.
Berdych, who was playing his U.S. Open quarter-final eight days ago
when Gasquet, ranked 21st in the world, was starting his claycourt
training at Roland Garros, was never in contention against the
In-form Monfils also reached the U.S. Open quarter-finals last week
after crushing Gasquet in the third round.
The second singles match features French number one Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga against Lukas Rosol, who faces a daunting task to keep the
holders, who are on a 11-0 winning streak, afloat.
The winner of the tie will meet either Switzerland or Italy in the
In front of an almost sell-out crowd on court Philippe Chatrier,
Gasquet opened up a 3-1 lead as Berdych failed to deal with the
Frenchman's single-handed backhand assault.
Berdych looked lacking in energy as he made a string of unforced
forehand errors that allowed Gasquet to easily bag the opening set
with a stunning backhand winner down the line.
[to top of second column]
Chest out and in complete control, Gasquet raced to a 3-0 lead in
the second, only for Berdych to pull a break back and threaten a
The home favorite, cheered by a raucous crowd waving French flags,
played tough and won the remaining three games.
Gasquet broke in the first game of the third set and although
Berdych offered more resistance there was to be no meltdown for the
He sealed the match on his second match point when Berdych
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by martyn herman)
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