MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11:  Richard Gasquet of France plays a forehand against Matt Ebden of Australia during day three of the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong on January 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Gasquet grabs second Kooyong win against Aussie Ebden

Posted on January 11, 2018

Richard Gasquet made it a pair of wins at the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic with victory against Australian Matt Ebden in hot conditions just days out from the Australian Open.

Both players will be ready to watch the draw for the Grand Slam tonight after a competitive duel in the hot sun that was taken out by the Frenchman 6-4 7-6(4) two days after defeating world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

“It’s a very nice match and great preparation for Melbourne, it’s hot the conditions and that’s what I need,” Gasquet said after the match.

“I’m feeling great physically, no injuries and feeling good and that’s the most important thing for me, I’m ready to play my best tennis.”

The 31-year-old who played in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2015 is currently the world No. 31 and is prepared to face anyone in the first round of the season’s first major.

With a career high world ranking of seven from 2007, he is more than capable of making a strong run in a Grand Slam, his last being an appearance in the quarterfinals at the French Open in 2016.

“You know it’s always nice to play here,” Gasquet said of Kooyong.

“I played here when I was 17 years old, I have many memories playing on this court and for Melbourne it’s the best preparation for me because the week before it’s hard to play a tournament.

“It’s great here with the crowd and good players.”

Ebden followed up his win over world No. 6 Marin Cilic in three sets yesterday with a strong outing against Gasquet, unlucky not to capitalise on multiple break points in a tight first set.

“It’s a nice hot day, but I’m used to it, I live in Perth and train there in the summer,” Ebden said.

“Yeah absolutely (another good opponent) and I had three or four break points in the first set but didn’t convert them and he converted one.

“It could have easily gone my way and then I was up a break in the second so it was another close match, could have played a bit better but it’s a good couple of sets.”

The 30-year-old ranked No. 76 in the world will be more than excited to take to the court at Melbourne Park next week after fighting hard last year to lift his ranking after an extended time on the sidelines with a knee injury.

“It’s just recovery now after six days of practice and matches,” he said of the upcoming Slam.

“The next few days is about rest and working on the body to get everything ready for the next couple of weeks and a bit of practice on the weekend.”

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