At the tender age of 9, Richard Gasquet was on the front page of one of France's leading tennis magazines, exposing the youngster to the public which led to a huge sense of expectation from French tennis fans.
Having started playing tennis at the age of 4 under the tutelage of his father, he was touted in France as a huge prospect, with the capacity to become a future World number one.
His junior career added fuel to the weight of expectation on his shoulders with Gasquet winning the Australian, US and French junior Opens which resulted in the young Frenchman being ranked as the No.1 Junior player in the world in 2002.
It became evidently clear that the World Junior champion was ready to make the step up to the ATP tour and naturally at the age of 15, he became the youngest player to win a tour match defeating the Argentinian Franco Squillari. He won the mixed doubles event at the French Open alongside compatriot Tatiana Golovin in 2003.
However victory in the doubles was not going to satisfy the expectations of the French public who wanted Gasquet to achieve the highest honours in Mens Single tennis.
One of his greatest achievements during the early part of his career was the 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 victory of the then World Number One, Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Masters Series.
At the age of 27, Gasquet has failed to live up to the huge promise he showed at Junior level. His unique style of play has led to a growing fan base across the ATP tour with the Frenchman's stylish play wooing crowds and often leaving his opponents bemused.
The powerful single handed backhand is probably his greatest weapon in his vast arsenal, but apart from his French flair and his ability to unleash vicious winners, Gasquet is also famed for his speed around the court.
Although possessing the natural skill to defeat any opponent, he is often criticised for lacking the aggressiveness to win the big matches. The Frenchman tends to prefer baseline rallies, which although can prove to be fruitful due to his ability to create an astonishing amount of top spin, leaves him wanting in matches against fellow big hitters like Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
On his day Gasquet has the ability to compete against the top players in mens tennis, his career has seem him defeat the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Murray and World Number One Djokovic. However, for all the flair and the aesthetically pleasing shots, his best performance at a Grand Slam tournament was a semi finalist position at Wimbledon in 2007.
That was also the year Gasquet was ranked the 7th best player in men's tennis, though, if he is to reach these heights again or even surpass them, the man with the fearsome one handed backhand must start fulfilling his early promise.
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