Despite his travails earlier this spring with the “cocaine kiss” incident, Gasquet appears to have put that all behind him and is playing with inspired confidence and his backhand, probably the best in the game, is once again a thing of beauty to watch.
Gasquet has a good shot at finishing 2009 on an upswing and if he continues his stellar play, I like his chances of not only getting back into the top 20, but maybe even top 10 again next year. Gasquet can display Federer-like artistry on court but seemed to never have real belief especially on the big stages. Perhaps his time off has actually done him some good and, at age 23, he still has plenty of time to achieve great things.
As for John Isner, this was another early round match that he should have won. He was up a set and almost a break in the second and despite falling behind early in the second set tiebreak, had match points on Gasquet’s serve but failed to convert. Once the third set got underway, the “moping” began again and it was all downhill. Isner has got to start making moves in these bigger 500 and 1000 events and 2010 will be the real test for him to make that happen.
(Note: Of course after I posted this, Gasquet lost in the next round to wildcard Marco Chiudinelli 6-1, 6-3. So what do I know?)