Italian Marco Cecchinato beat former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 on Monday to reach the second round at the Nordea Open in Bastad. The victory meant more than a typical three-set triumph for the 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist.
“I’m very happy for today because I beat Richard for the first time in my career,” Cecchinato said. “When I was young, he was my idol, so I’m very happy to beat him.”
Cecchinato remembers watching Gasquet compete in the Nitto ATP Finals. The 28-year-old has a one-handed backhand like the Frenchman, and enjoys playing a similarly artistic game.
“So many years he was in the Top 10. He was like me with the one-handed backhand, his forehand, good kick, good drop shot,” Cecchinato, who will next face Francisco Cerundolo or Federico Coria, said. “He was my idol for that, so I’m very happy with this match today.”