Match Preview Gasquet vs Chardy 23.03 Miami Open 2018
Miami, USA, Hard Courts, ATP
Well I must say that’s one of the best performances that i’ve ever seen Radu Albot put in, he chucked all of my pre-match predictions re his game plan out of the window, and actually should have beaten an out of sorts Barankis in straight sets. That being said, the savvy traders amongst you may well have still nicked a profit after Berankis won the second set and/or went a break up early in the third – well done if you did.
Today sees us preview another an all French affair from the Miami Open, between Richard Gasquet and Jeremy Chardy.
These two have met three times previously, all on hard courts, Gasquet has won all three matches, dropping just the one set in the process. They have not met since 2015 though, so this stat can only bear some relevance.
Gasquet is returning this week after a knee injury force him to retire form his First Round match in Rotterdam last month, and was causing him significant issues during his loss to Borna Coric in Dubai, against last month. It remains to be seen whether Gasquet if fully recovered or not, but having won 10 of his opening 15 matches this season (3 of those losses came when injured), he has certainly started 2018 in good form.
Chardy has had a bit of a resurgence of late, winning 4 of his last 5 matches, with the only one he lost being a tight two setter against Federer in Indian Wells. Chardy is one of those players, when he’s on, he can give most players a good run for their money, when off he’ll lose to anyone, it will be interesting to see which version of himself he brings to the court today.
Gasquet’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 65% of his service points
Held serve 79% of the time
Gasquet’s serve is a tricky one, hit predominantly with slice and hard to read, when it’s firing it is a real weapon. One thing that is worth noting is this, there is quite an exaggerated knee bend in the Gasquet service motion, so if his knee is not 100% then his serve will certainly suffer.
Chardy’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 65% of his service points
Held serve 83% of the time
Chardy has a big first serve, if he can keep his first serve % high then he should be difficult to break today. His second serve however is exploitable, he has won only 47% of second serve points on hard courts in recent months, below the Tour average of 50%.
Gasquet’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 41% of his return points
Won 49% of his break points
Opponents have held 70% of the time against him
Gasquet is an exceptional returner off both wings, he will get the ball back with interest, and is capable of attacking any weak second serves. His break point conversion % is also well above the Tour average in recent months on hard courts of 41%. I think Gasquet can break Chardy today, especially if Chardy’s serve is not at its best.
Chardy’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 34% of his return points
Won 30% of his break points
Opponents have held 84% of the time against him
Chardy really struggles on the return of serve, all of the above stats are well below the Tour average and he will need to significantly increase these numbers if he wants to make inroads into the Gasquet service games. He may well of course be helped if Gasquet is struggling to serve due to his knee.
Gasquet is a nightmare to play against off the ground, mixing up his pace, spins and depth off both wings, his variety is one of his biggest weapons, as his his ability to turn defence into attack at any moment from anywhere on the court. As always, look out for that gorgeous backhand and some heavy topspin forehands. I expect him to move Chardy around at will and dictate most of the rallies from the back of the court, unless Chardy can get the first strike in early.
Chardy will look to get his forehand into play as much as possible, he will look to be aggressive off this wing, and at times follow it into the net. He will hit flat and with slice off his backhand side, but will rarely hit winners off it. Chardy will need to get the first strike in as much as he can today, as he’s unlikely to win many of the longer rallies.
Assuming Gasquet is anywhere near 100% he should win, even with doubts over his fitness i was surprised to see Chardy as favourite today. I strongly suggest watching the match first and assessing Gasquet’s knee and general level of fitness before entering into a market, if all looks ok then I think he should be a strong back bet. Chardy has a chance if playing his best, but I still think it would need to be a below-par Gasquet for him to get the W.
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