HEAD PLAYERS SCORE WINS IN FRANCE AND HAWAII
Montpellier/France, 7th February 2016
The wait was worth it as HEAD's Richard Gasquet marked the delayed start of his 2016 season with a title in Montpellier as he beat French compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-4 in a decisive final. The 29-year-old who endorses the HEAD Graphene Extreme, showed that the back injury which kept him from playing the Australian tournament leg last month is now in the past.
The success gave the 10th-ranked Gasquet his 13th ATP title from 25 finals. The HEAD player was unofficially crowned the king of the event after winning his third title from four straight finals at the 250 indoor tournament.
Gasquet lifted his first trophy since last May when he won Estoril on clay. "It was great for me to win. I am very proud to win my third title here, because it was a great match against a good friend. He had nothing to lose, so it was great to win," said Gasquet, who hopes to continue his success as he plays next in Rotterdam.
In Fed Cup play in tropical Hawaii, HEAD's Sloane Stephens got the US off to a solid start in what turned into a 4-0 weekend defeat of Poland. She made an important opening contribution with her 6-2, 6-3 win over Magda Linette to set the winning tone for the hosts.
The HEAD player, who recommends the HEAD Graphene Radical, stumbled with an early break but kept up the battle. "You must keep fighting; keep playing your game; stick to the strategy, believe in yourself and play hard."
Stephens won five games in a row in the second set, but let her opponent off the hook momentarily as the Pole saved three match points. One more set did the job for Stephens to earn the first point of the weekend. "When you are playing for your country; that's something you always want to do great," she said. "You want to make sure you are playing your best, there is a lot of stress but I managed it"