It's one countryman after another in Dubai for Richard Gasquet. Having gotten over Davis Cup teammate Benoit Paire in the second round, Gasquet will now be up against French No. 1 Gael Monfils in the quarterfinal of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Returning from some time off the court, Gasquet has taken little time to get back to winning ways. His win over the fiesty Paire is a testament of his character and should give him a lot of confidence going further.
And he will need all the confidence and belief that he can muster for his last-eight match against the ever-dangerous Monfils.
Playing the flamboyant Monfils will be extra hard for Gasquet this around as he is in the midst of a very good stretch in terms of winning back to back matches.
Monfils hasn't lost a match since the Australian Open in January, and with a couple of titles in Montpelier and Rotterdam, is looking every bit dangerous at this point.
Not only the wins but even the nature of these victories have inspired much belief in Monfils capabilities off late. The last time that he dropped a set was in the first round of the Open Sud de France in Montpelier against Adrian Mannarino.
One would then definitely see Monfils as the overwhelming favourite to win this one and continue his winning run. That, however, might not be entirely the case.
The two men share a close head to head record, with Monfils leading 10-7. But when you have played an opponent on so many occasions, you begin to understand their game inside out. And for a smart player like Gasquet, that could make all the difference in a match.
Monfils has played a lot of tennis in the past few weeks and it is only a matter of time before his body begins to give in. The longer the match goes on, the more Gasquet will fancy his chances to spring up a surprise win.
Prediction: Gasquet to win in three sets.Published 27 Feb 2020, 20:00 IST