Gasquet cruises into Tokyo quarters

Tokyo: Richard Gasquet eased into the Japan Open quarterfinals on Thursday with a routine 6-0, 7-6 win over Taipei’s Lu Yen-Hsun, as the Frenchman bids to salvage an injury-hit season.
Gasquet endured a tricky first service game and was forced to save two break points but encountered little resistance after that, inflicting a dreaded first set “bagel” on an opponent ranked number 63rd in the world.
The second set was much tighter but Gasquet — now ranked 30th in the world although he has climbed as high as seventh — clinched the tie-break 7-5 to book his place in the last eight after one hour and 28 minutes.
Gasquet has not troubled the business end of the Grand Slam tournaments this year, losing in the first round of Wimbledon and the US Open and getting to the last 32 in his home tournament at Roland Garros as well as the Australian Open.
The 31-year-old has struggled with back problems and a thigh injury forced him to withdraw at the French Open.
But a recent return to the second-tier Challenger circuit appears to have boosted his confidence, winning last month in Szczecin, and he hopes to repeat his 2007 performance in Tokyo where he reached the final. — AFP

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