Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Never write off David Ferrer. The 35-year-old may be unseeded at a major for the first time in over 12 years, but he produced a vintage defensive performance to defeat No.22 seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 out on Court 12.
With that, Ferrer maintained his record of surviving the first round at every Grand Slam he has contested since 2005, when he lost his opener at The Championships to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the age of 23. The former world No.3 will face Belgium’s Steve Darcis in the second round.
Two-time semi-finalist Gasquet hadn’t lost in the first round at The Championships since 2006 and reached the semi-finals at Eastbourne last week, but was alarmingly second best against Ferrer, who came into the match with an 8-13 win-loss record in 2017.
How he earned his ninth win. Ferrer has always been a tough match-up for Gasquet – the Spanird now leads their career head-to-head 10-3 – but it had been over two years since their last meeting. This, their first showdown on grass, was thought to favour the Frenchman.
In the event, Gasquet simply failed to mount a sustained challenge against Ferrer until it was too late, misfiring on serve and finding himself ceding control of the net too often. Ferrer found his go-for-broke approach paying dividends; he ended the match with 46 winners and 43 unforced errors, with Gasquet running a deficit with 26 winners to 28 errors.
There seemed little danger for Gasquet, who spurned early break point chances in the opening set. But he found himself trapped in a monster service game at 3-4, with Ferrer pinning him back for six deuces before clinching his only break point of the game, sparking a five game run that was enough to settle the second set.
Ferrer looked set to take the third to a tie-break but gave up his only break of the match when serving in game 12 to hand Gasquet a route back. But the Frenchman’s serve deserted him in the fourth – he made just 52 per cent of first serves and won just 12 of 23 points behind his own delivery as Ferrer broke twice, serving out a fine win on his fifth match point in two hours, 54 minutes.