Mon, December 29, 2008
Sports > Tennis & Golf

Tennis player Gasquet looks to new coach for 2009 revival

2008-12-29 09:09:27 GMT2008-12-29 17:09:27 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Frenchman Richard Gasquet has turned to a new coach to help him launch a successful Australian campaign and a return to the world's top 10 rankings next year.

Gasquet was ranked seventh last February before a knee injury and a subsequent loss in form sent him tumbling to 25th, his ranking heading into this weekend's Brisbane International tournament.

The 22-year-old Frenchman is seeded seventh in the inaugural Brisbane International, with Serb Novak Djokovic and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the top seeds.

Gasquet, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, has turned to coach Guillaume Peyre, who helped Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to the Australian Open final in 2006.

"I was four years with my last coach and it was maybe too long," Gasquet said here Monday. "I needed a change.

"I'm trying to be aggressive on the court and I've worked on it in the (northern) winter and I'll try to play well in this tournament."

Gasquet said he was having no problems with his troublesome knee and was confident of making an impact on the Australian summer circuit, culminating with the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 19.

He predicted he would realise the potential shown when he came through the ranks with Djokovic and Scot Andy Murray, who are now at ranked world number three and four.

"I've beaten them before in the past and I'm sure I can beat them and come back into the top 10," Gasquet said. "I was there last year so that's my goal."

Gasquet is among the first overseas stars to arrive in Australia to acclimatise for the first grand slam of 2009. He will play in Brisbane and Sydney before trying to improve on his fourth-round exits in the Australian Open over the past two years.

"It's really important to play in this tournament and Sydney and be ready for Melbourne," he said. "It's the best preparation for the Australian Open.

"It's a tough first week for us, it's really hard because in Paris it's zero. But it's nice to be in the summer."

(Agencies)

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