Gasquet, Bouncing Back, Deserves Support
| June 18th, 2010, 11:06 am

By Krystle Nicole Russin

Remember those cheesy stars you received as a little kid — where teachers awarded you at the end of the week for good behavior? I wish to award one to Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman has, after some time out, put forward his best efforts in returning to his game — ironic when you realize the whole time Gasquet fought the tennis gods to play matches again, we have men on the tour dare I say, making a mockery of it.
People, do not for a slight second act like every guy leaving a match early lost accidentally, didn’t fake an injury, etc. People lose once they earned enough at a tournament. Tennis is lucky in that you earn money by showing your sweet face on the court, possibly among the lone professions where a loss still earns you a paycheck. This separates Nadal and the like from the “I’m just happy to be second rate and, ya know, like sorta kinda make the upper class tax bracket” guys, but that’s another rant for another day. Back to Gasquet.

Gasquet did himself well at this year’s French Open — requiring a full five sets for Andy Murray to win the match — and I hope he pulls together more confidence to shine at Wimbledon. Sure, you could argue his Queen’s time didn’t go so well, but bear with me, top men whose names I shall not speak didn’t fare as well as they should have at Queens. We can forgive them for their C- efforts – I question all time, science and dimension laws when Mardy Fish makes a final in the year 2010 in ANY tournament, let alone one Nadal and Murray entered — so we ought to continue rooting for Gasquet.

I am not declaring his 2010 stats perfect but pointing out the man has come a long way for being banished to Transylvania — oh, excuse me. He was, putting it plainly, kicked out of tennis for doing what men around the world, yes including some in pro and college sports, do in equal or greater abundance and probably, definitely off season. The difference? They don’t get caught with drugs.

I do realize some readers will want to dispute my comments, attacking me for supporting a young man who once did cocaine. Go ahead. I assure you, many of his naysayers are former drug and/or alcohol abusers, possibly ex hippies, perhaps the sometimes partygoer pretending as most of America does now, that sex, drugs and so forth don’t exist beyond Lifetime dramas.

I value a man with the integrity to admit his mistakes, change his life and not let what any run of the mill, hypocritical folks do or say affect his will to play tennis. A man of confidence is vital to this sport’s passion and that, for me, is as strong of character as Federer’s phenomenal dedication. Keep it up, Richard. Show us what you’ve got at the US Open and heck yeah, next year’s season when you can really bring us the new and improved Gasquet.

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19 Comments for Gasquet, Bouncing Back, Deserves Support

Polo Says:

I am with you on this. I like Gasquet. He is young and talented. If he made a mistake, he looks like he has learned from it and I wish him well. He remains a source of pleasure to watch. I hope he succeeds in fulfilling his vast potentials.

RFFan Says:

Gasquet has always denied doing cocaine and the courts have agreed with him.

There was no reason for him to “admit mistakes and change his life” as he never used drugs.

Krystle N. Russin Says:

I had heard he DID admit to drugs publicly? Either way, I’m going to do my research, but I’m pretty sure #1 he did – as the cheesy saying goes, where there’s smoke there’s fire – and #2 he’s cleaned up his act. He’s finally back out there and improving!

RFFaN Says:

Hi Krystie,

You can read the court decision below; it explains everything:

I also wish Richard good luck with his career!

kamret Says:

“I do realize some readers will want to dispute my comments, attacking me for supporting a young man who once did cocaine.”

I don’t think that will happen as most people don’t believe he actually did cocaine. He got contaminated by kissing a girl at a bar who was doing it. (Yes, you CAN get contaminated with just a kiss.) Gasquet is a very shy, quiet and well-behaved guy by nature and certainly not a drug user. As for his tennis, yes he deserves support but losing two consecutive times to the same player (Murray) after leading 2 sets to love each time is hard to accept. This has nothing to so with tennis or fitness. It’s about character.

skeezerweezer Says:

Krystle Nicole Russin,

Awesome article. Thanks for stickin your neck out and give a “unpopular” opinion in a “gentlemen” sport. Time to call out this stuff, hidden drug use ( don’t forget HGH and the like ). It would be nice to find an official ATP document on how the drug testing goes and the regulations. Me thinks there is more to the drug thing than just the Coke. Pot, pain killers thing. I think those drugs will catch up quickly to the player and reflect in their performance. As an example, you cannot be drunk and perform well in tennis nor hardly any other mind altering drug. Your quick reflexes and brain reflex is essential.

As a fan, I would be more interested in the “performance enhancing” stuff. THAT, is a problem…look at the beefcakes comin out…


blah Says:

What is this c word stuff? No idea what you are talking about.

Anyway he’s missing wimbledon again due to back injury. I am so surprised.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Gasquet is like Henri Lecomte. The best backhand of the circuit and probably as gifted as Federer. He can do unbelievable hits.

But as said, the guy is like Henri Lecomte. French, pathetic will-never-win-a-major, no-brain player – I’m French too! Listen to Lecomte’s speech after loosing the French, and listen to Gasquet’s interviews.

kamret Says:

Gregoire, I don’t agree. If we were to compare Gasquet’s career so far to Henri Leconte’s career, Leconte was a better plater and achieved a lot more. By the time he was Gasquet’s age, he was already # 5 in the world and had already been in 1 Grand Slam final and a couple of Grand Slam semifinals. Gasquet hasn’t made it yet to a Grand Slam final and has been in only 1 Grand Slam semifinal so far. So, by saying that Gasquet is just like Leconte, you are actually putting down Leconte.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

kamret, that’s an interesting comment, and my intention was not to put down Lecomte. Nevertheless, I disagree.

According to wikipedia, Lecomte’s (with an m) highest ranking was 5 at 23, Gasquet was 7 at 21. Pretty the same.

Lecomte reaches his disastrous (very sadly) French finale at 25. Gasquet has already reached a SF, and is only 24. He has six more grand slams to do it.

guy Says:

gasquet had to play federer with less than 24hr rest in that wimbledon semi final. he’d just played a five setter the NIGHT before with roddick.
still put up a close match with fed. i think could have beaten him if wasn’t screwed with scheduling.

Krystle Nicole Russin Says:

Wow, the response to this! Reading through everything including the PDF you posted. Thanks a bunch for that, I should add.

“kamret,” I find it interesting that:
First, one can get contaminated via kissing. Strange. I am not saying it is impossible, but it reminds me of the times actresses get caught with pot bags and say, “WHHHAT!! Oh, THAT IS NOT MINE! IT’S MY ASSISTANT’S POT!”

You also state here Gaquet is a shy, cautious individual, but if that is the case, what’s he doing kissing random girls at a bar, furthermore girls the kind to be cocaine users?

I am not in anyone’s bathroom, but as someone present around sporting events in my short time on this planet, and as someone whose family has told me about baseball players and other pro athlete circle drama, I can assure you: like it or not, sports guys like everyone else DO DRUGS, LEGAL AND ILLEGAL. Pot, coke, etc. I am not implying every jock does it! I am simply stressing here we – the press, fans, commoners, the public – sit back like anyone on ESPN is a perfect angel. I can give you tons of stories about seemingly shy people doing outrageously bad things. All a matter of “what I do in the public” vs. “who I am privately.” Oh, I don’t mean Gasquet is Dennis Rodman here. I am speaking generally.

Krystle Nicole Russin Says:

You have it right with “you cannot get drunk and play well.” Absolutely. I saw a current tennis player trashing himself out one evening and the next day, not only did he look like a hung over wreck on court, he appeared brain frozen. It’s like you want to slap these young men, “STOP!!! YOU GET A SHORT TIME TO DO WELL, YOU HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME AND YOU BLOW IT!” Come on, people. You have all off season to get drunk. Tennis and many sports I should say, are short lived!! Please do not mess up the blessings you have been given to be here by….ick.

Krystle Nicole Russin Says:

OK briefing through this case info. I like Gasquet, I really do. But skimming here, I once again see the classic example of a publicly shy, privately not-so-shy guy. Check it out: alcohol, a strip club, chicks. I am not a puritan criticizing, but I mean, that’s not the life of a SHY person. I always love when people say, “You know, I was too tired, but those guys just DRAGGED me to the strip club.” Oh, such punishment for a straight, single man to visit one. ;-)


At some point, the Player and Pamela were in a room upstairs, where they kissed. When they came downstairs again, they also kissed on the stairs. Their
kisses continued throughout their stay at “Set”. In total, they kissed mouth to mouth about
seven times, each kiss lasting about five to ten seconds.
The Player drank a vodka and apple juice prepared for him by Mr Champion.
2.13. At about 4:35 AM, the Player with his companions and the three women left “Set” together.
Although the Player was tired, he went with his companions and the three women to another
venue called “Goldrush”. That place turned out to be a strip club.

Colin Says:

What a strange article.
“Tennis is lucky in that you earn money by showing your sweet face on the court, possibly among the lone professions where a loss still earns you a paycheck.”
First of all, “lone professions”. “Lone” isn’t plural, for Pete’s sake. Nothing can be “among” lone anything.
Then, how about boxing? The loser gets his previously agreed money even if he’s knocked out in half a minute.

RFFaN Says:

Hi Krystle,

I agree that this “poor, shy Gasquet” stuff is OTT considering he is kissing random girls in bars. But regarding the cocaine, to me the key thing is that all the scientific experts agreed that the quantity in his system was so tiny (less than a grain of salt) that no one would take that much on purpose. And it wasn’t the leftovers from a larger quantitiy because they could tell it was very recently consumed.

So it doesn’t really matter how that tiny amount of cocaine got in his system, whether it was a kiss or from a glass or sth on the table or whatever. It wasn’t on purpose.

Von Says:

“blah Says:
What is this c word stuff? No idea what you are talking about.

Anyway he’s missing wimbledon again due to back injury. I am so surprised.”

I think the *c* represents *cocaine*. I don’t understand the need to disguise.

To me, this article is somewhat incongruent.

Krystle Nicole Russin Says:

Colin, dumb mistake by me, the AP Stylebook nerd. Sorry. I was making a soup and lost my train of thought writing this while waiting for it.

Krystle Nicole Russin Says:

What I meant by that was the whole oddness with the tennis pay scale, how it works, etc. Boxing is similar, you are right. Right away, a guy pops in my head – a man I am NOT friends with but have met a few times I feel 99.9 percent sure shows up, gets paid, gets eliminated. Last year, a different person told me effortless showing up to collect is pretty commonplace among the older guys.

Doping, you bring up? Well, sure. I want to know myself and absolutely, I have my guesses as you do at the tennis players seemingly obvious about performance changes. I remember arguing in HS to guys at school, “Barry Bonds is doing something. Something appears unnatural, something’s wrong how he improved, some-” “-he’s not! Stop it!” Wasn’t I right?

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