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TENNIS

France's Gasquet tastes victory after ban

2 min

Frenchman Richard Gasquet had to dig deep in his first game since returning from a two-month drug ban, edging Germany's 127th-ranked Michael Berre in three sets in the first round of the Metz tournament.

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"Any victory is good to take" said Frenchman Richard Gasquet after he beat Germany's Michael Berre, ranked 127, late on Monday. But this one, the first in over four months, will have had a special flavour for Gasquet. Since beating Latvia's Ernests Gulbis on Apr. 30, the French "mousquetaire" had been banished from tennis courts after testing positive for cocaine.

At the US Open earlier this month, Gasquet, now ranked 47th in the world, was swept aside by Spaniard Rafael Nadal . The Open of Moselle in France was always going to offer a better opportunity for confidence-boosting. "It will come back, and it's with games such as this one that it will happen", said Gasquet after the game. To reach the final 8, Gasquet now faces the world's number 31, Belgium's Christophe Rochus.

 

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