• Gasquet, Verdasco look for final berths in Nice

    5/21/10 3:49 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Gasquet, Verdasco look for final berths in Nice Resurging Frenchman Richard Gasquet will look for his second ATP final of the year as he looks to get past Potito Starace.

    Richard Gasquet vs. Potito Starace

    Italy’s Potito Starace goes into Friday’s semifinal in Nice more highly ranked than Richard Gasquet. Starace stands at No. 63; Gasquet is No. 68. Still, that does not make Starace the favorite. The Italian is a good clay courter, but Gasquet is by far the more talented. Had Gasquet been playing as poorly as he did earlier this year, Starace could have most certainly have counted on a win. But the Frenchman captured the Challenger title in Bordeaux, and his form seems to be returning slowly.

    The crowd will be firmly behind Gasquet; he should get the win in 3.

    Fernando Verdasco vs. Leonardo Mayer

    Neither Fernando Verdasco of Spain nor Leonardo Mayer of Argentina will go into this semifinal fresh. Both men had lengthy 3-set matches on Thursday. Verdasco spent 2 hours and 20 minutes dispatching of Sergiy Stakhovsky, while Mayer was on the court nearly 3 hours against Marcos Baghdatis. The Spaniard is by far the more accomplished clay courter, but he has played perhaps more tennis than any other player during the clay season and the most recent effort could well have left him fatigued. With his mind perhaps on preserving energy for the French Open, Verdasco might be in danger of the upset. Mayer for the upset win.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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