ATP Rogers Cup second round preview: Alexander Zverev vs Richard Gasquet

An interesting second round clash in Montreal sees Zverev, one of the best players this season, face the experienced Gasquet at the Rogers Cup.

ATP Rogers Cup second round preview: Alexander Zverev vs Richard Gasquet
Alexander Zverev and Richard Gasquet face off for the third time this year (Getty Images)

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev will look to continue his recent good form when he starts his Rogers Cup campaign against the potentially dangerous Richard Gasquet in Montreal.

One of the standout players this season, Zverev will be full of confidence and has never been seeded so high at a Masters 1000 event before, though Gasquet is not an easy second round opponent for the German; the Frenchman is very experienced and will be looking for a big result after a tricky season to date.

It is Zverev that leads the head to head 2-0, with both meetings coming this year, though neither meeting has been one-sided. The winner will face 16th seed Nick Kyrgios or the winner of the first round match between Paolo Lorenzi and Francis Tiafoe in the third round.

So far in Montreal

As one of the top seeds, Zverev received a bye in the first round though heads into the tournament in good form, whilst Gasquet faced a tough opening round match.

Gasquet in action at the Aegon International in Eastbourne (Getty/Charlie Crowhurst)
Gasquet in action at the Aegon International in Eastbourne (Getty/Charlie Crowhurst)

The German may well be grateful about receiving a bye in the first round, having come off a run to the Citi Open title in Washington. Zverev beat the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Kei Nishikori before beating Kevin Anderson in the final and will be confident coming into this clash.

Gasquet, meanwhile, faced an extremely tough test in his first round encounter. The Frenchman has struggled with inconsistency and injury this year, though he eventually found a way to see off Canadian wildcard Brayden Schnur in three sets to reach the second round. He will be looking for a better performance in this match.

Analysis

There is no doubt that Zverev will head into this match as the more confident of the two, and will look to be aggressive in this match up. The German will be hoping to serve well and attack, particularly on his backhand side. Though he has played well recently, Zverev can be error-prone and get frustrated; he must try to control his emotions against such an experienced opponent, who could take advantage of any mental errors.

Zverev's backhand could be an important shot in this match (Getty/Shaun Botterill)
Zverev's backhand could be an important shot in this match (Getty/Shaun Botterill)

Gasquet also looks to be aggressive, though is the less powerful of the two and must look to try and stay in rallies as long as possible, and attempt to force errors out of Zverev. Furthermore, the Frenchman must also look to serve well, as this can be a weakness of his, and must naturally try to use his strong one-handed backhand to dictate play and kill off points as quickly as possible.

Assessment

This is certainly one of the more high-profile matches of the tournament so far, and the fans could get a treat. It would be unwise to rule Gasquet out, but it seems that Zverev should have more than enough to reach the third round.

Prediction: Alexander Zverev in straight sets


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