The current champion, ranked 76th before the first round of the Auckland tournament, lost to Arthur Fils. A defeat (6-3, 6-4) that he would not soon forget and that would have serious consequences.
For the first time since 2005, and since his success against then world No. 1 Roger Federer, Frenchman Richard Gasquet is no longer ranked in the ATP top 100.
Nicknamed “Little Mozart”, he will have spent just over 19 years at the highest level, credited with a total of just over 600 victories on the circuit, multiple qualifications for the Masters and a top 10 ranking in the world. 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Having nothing to be ashamed of, having won 16 ATP 250 tournament titles, Gasquet has stood out throughout his career for his consistency and longevity, which has allowed him to spend more than 956 weeks in the Top 100.
This first round of the Auckland tournament marks a new milestone in the career of the 37-year-old, who on Monday 8 January faces another Frenchman in the Top 100, Arthur Fils (2004), the future of French tennis. Defeated (6-3, 6-4), Gasquet was generally under the dominance of his compatriot both on serve and during breaks.
While the native of Béziers bids farewell to the top 100, he will not have the opportunity to celebrate his 20-year career at the highest level. The opponent of the day thus confirms his 35th place in the world Top 100 and praises Gasquet after his success: “He is a great champion, he has an incredible career, so I am really happy that I could play with him. But I said: “I had a good match and I am really happy. ”
This new ranking will place him 131st in the world, making it difficult for him to qualify for Wimbledon, the US Open and even the Masters 1000, and will be the first signals of a great career slowly coming to an end.