Richard Gasquet (FRA) def [Alt] Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) 60 62
2013 Doha Champion Richard Gasquet looks in top-form to start the new year, while 3-time Quito champ Victor Estrella Burgos may need to knock some rust off before the Australian Open. In Victor’s defense, he was the first alternate for this year’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open. When Novak Djokovic withdrew from the tournament on Sunday, Estrella Burgos got the call and had to hop a flight to Doha.
Gasquet dominated the first set on Tuesday, and finished strong in the second before Burgos could solidify his rhythm.
51 minutes is all it took
After two previous deciding-tiebreak matches, the 51-minute Gasquet rout was a welcome acceleration for the tournament crew. Clearly it was a disappointing appearance for Burgos, who defeated Gasquet in their first career meeting 4-years-ago in the Bogota Quarterfinals. Last year, Gasquet earned a similar high-speed win over Victor at Roland Garros, blanking the Domincan Republic’s most successful player in the second set: 61 60 64
Next Up: 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece
Gasquet has never played Tistsipas, who upset Florian Mayer in the 1st-Round. Tsitsipas was the Tour’s most prolific qualifier last year, reaching main-draws 8-times after playing through qualifying. He’s launched into 2018 by mining the same vein, earning qualifying wins over Qatar’s Mubarak Shannan Zayid and Sweden’s Elias Ymer before Monday’s 1st-Round victory over the 2014 Semifinalist Mayer.
In fact, all four 2018 Qatar ExxonMobil Open qualifier earned 1st-Round wins. Italy’s Matteo Berrettini defeated Viktor Troicki in three. Mirza Basic downed Andreas Haider-Maurer (in this year’s main draw with a protected ranking). And Stefano Travaglia of Italy cruised past Qatari Wild Card, Jabor Al-Mutawa.
FIVE-YEARS-AGO, THIS 31-YEAR-OLD WON HIS 8TH ATP WORLD TOUR SINGLES TITLE ON THIS VERY COURT, AT THE 2013 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN. HE NOW OWNS 14 CAREER TITLES; AND LAST FEBRUARY, COMPETED IN HIS 28TH CAREER FINAL, AND 5TH SUCCESSIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH IN MONTPELLIER. RANKED AS HIGH AS #7 IN THE WORLD, HE’S AN OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST AND REIGNING DAVIS CUP CHAMPION! JUST FIVE WEEKS AGO, HE HELPED LIFT FRANCE TO ITS FIRST DAVIS CUP TITLE IN 16-YEARS, TEAMING WITH PIERRE-HUGHES HERBERT TO DELIVER THE ALL-IMPORTANT DOUBLES RUBBER IN FRANCE’S 3-2 WIN OVER BELGIUM. A 3-TIME GRAND SLAM SEMIFINALIST, HE’S ALSO A GRAND SLAM MIXED DOUBLES CHAMPION! IN 2004, AT JUST 17-YEARS-OLD, HE CAPTURED THE FRENCH OPEN TITLE WITH PARTNER TATIANA GOLOVIN IN HIS ONLY CAREER MIXED DOUBLES APPEARANCE. COMPETING IN DOHA FOR THE 5TH TIME – FROM FRANCE – PLEASE WELCOME 2013 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN CHAMPION – RICHARD GASQUET
Victor Estrella Burgos
AT 37-YEARS-OLD, HE IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PLAYER FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IN TENNIS HISTORY. LAST YEAR, HE WON HIS 3RD CONSECUTIVE TITLE IN QUITO, SAVING 3 MATCH POINTS IN ROUND-2 VERSUS IVO KARLOVIC, ANOTHER IN THE FINAL WITH PAOLO LORENZI, AND REMARKABLY, IS THE ONLY CHAMPION IN THE 3-YEAR HISTORY OF THE EVENT. A 7-TIME CHAMPION ON THE ATP CHALLENGER TOUR, HE LIFTED HIS LATEST TROPHY LAST AUGUST, AT HIS HOME EVENT IN SANTO DOMINGO. IN A SPORT RICH WITH YOUNGER TALENT, HE’S PROVEN YOU CAN EXCEL WITH AGE, BREAKING INTO THE TOP-200 FOR THE FIRST TIME AT AGE-31, EARNING HIS FIRST TOUR-LEVEL WIN AT 32, CRACKING THE TOP-100 AT 33, AND REACHING A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF WORLD #43 AT 34-YEARS-OLD. A 20-YEAR VETERAN OF THE DOMINICAN DAVIS CUP TEAM, HE MADE HIS OLYMPIC DEBUT AT THE SUMMER GAMES IN RIO, AND EARNED THE BRONZE MEDAL AT THE 2011 PAN AMERICAN GAMES IN GUADALAJARA. COMPETING HERE IN DOHA FOR THE FIRST TIME, FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, PLEASE WELCOME – VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS