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Edmund vs Gasquet ATP Antwerp Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Edmund and Gasquet meet in a repeat of 2016 Antwerp semi-final

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 20 Oct 2018
  • Kyle Edmund vs Richard Gasquet is live from Antwerp on Saturday, 20 October from 5:30pm local time/ 4:30pm BST
  • Edmund leads 2-1 on head-to-head
Kyle Edmund. (Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images)

British No. 1, Kyle Edmund continues his quest for a first ATP World Tour title when he takes on Frenchman, Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals of the European Open in Antwerp on Saturday.

Antwerp already has some significance in Edmund’s career, as the venue was the site of his first ATP World Tour semi-final back in 2016, which incidentally, he lost to Gasquet in three sets. Can he go all the way this year to claim his first career title in the Belgian city? The world number 15 has enjoyed very serene progress this week, barely breaking sweat in returning to the last four.

Edmund dropped just two games in a crushing victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening round, while he benefited from a walkover in the quarter finals as Ilya Ivashka withdrew due to a left thigh injury.

The Brit is playing as the top seed at an ATP World Tour event for the first time in his career, and it's the latest in a series of milestones that he has achieved in 2018. It may not be as weighty as reaching a first Grand Slam semi-final, or over overtaking national hero, Andy Murray as the country's, No. 1 player, but this is another one for Edmund to tick off on the to-do list, as he continues his rise up the ATP World Tour ladder.

The 23-year-old did most of his good work early in the year, opening with a quarter final in Brisbane, and then that superb run to the last four of the Australian Open, beating Grigor Dimitrov for his first top-ten win in the quarter finals. A hip problem and a viral infection halted him briefly, restricting the Brit to the sidelines for the whole of February, while he lost consecutive matches at Indian Wells and Miami on his return to the tour in March, but he responded with a reasonably solid spell on clay, reaching his first ATP World Tour final in Marrakech, advancing to a maiden Masters 1000 quarter final in Madrid, beating Novak in the process, and rounding off his clay-court campaign with a third-round loss to Fabio Fognini at Roland Garros. 

An average time on grass ended with a third-round loss to Djokovic at Wimbledon- the Brit had taken the first set but was subsequently outclassed by the eventual champion- while a forgettable North American hard court swing yielded a 3-5 record, featuring opening round exits in Washington, Toronto and the US Open. 

With his season threatening to taper out, Edmund found second wind in Asia, reaching the semi-finals in Beijing and then quarter finals in Shanghai- his second at Masters 1000 level- and though he has hardly been tested in Antwerp, he has now reached two semi-finals in his last three tournaments.

Next up for Edmund is a semi-final with Richard Gasquet, who came through a tough quarter final against hard-hitting German, Jan-Lennard Struff to reach the semis.

It could have been more straightforward for Gasquet, who served for the match at 6-4 5-4, but Struff broke back before taking the second set on a tie break. The deciding set also went to a tie break, following Gasquet’s failure to convert two match points on Struff's serve at 6-5.

Richard Gasquet. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
After Gasquet missed four more match points in the breaker, including blowing a 6-3 lead, Struff carved out his own match point at 8-7, but Gasquet snuffed it out, before going on to take the tie break 11-9, closing out the win on his eighth match point. The Frenchman had also needed three sets to get past Jiri Vesely in his opening round.

Gasquet is contesting his second semi-final in three tournaments, having also made the last four in Tokyo, where be beat Nick Kyrgios and Kevin Anderson before falling to Kei Nishikori. The 32-year-old is seeking his fourth final of the year, as he already made finals in Montpellier, s-Hertogenbosch and Bastad in 2018. Hjs only title so far came on the grass of s-Hertogenbosch. While all of that looks good from a distance, Gasquet’s season has been largely average, as he has not quite shown up in the really big events.

He reached the third round at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open, while he fell to Gael Monfils in the first round at Wimbledon. He made just one Masters 1000 quarterfinal, in Monte Carlo, suffered opening round defeats in Miami, Rome and Cincinnati, and missed out on Indian Wells and Toronto due to injuries. As a result, the former world No. 7 hasn't made any telling gains in the rankings, entering Antwerp at No. 28 in the world.

Gasquet takes on Edmund for the fourth time on Saturday, with his British opponent enjoying a 2-1 lead from their previous matches. Like I noted earlier, Gasquet's only victory was in Antwerp two years ago, while Edmund scored a straight sets win at the US Open in 2015, and another in Marrakech earlier this year.

There are no secrets as to how both men like to play- Edmund wants everything on his forehand while Gasquet is happier on his backhand- and whoever succeeds in imposing his strength on the other's relative weakness will likely come out on top.

As good as Gasquet's single-hander is, I think Edmund's forehand is a bigger weapon, which is why I’m backing the British No. 1 to extend his winning record over the Frenchman, and move on to the Antwerp final.

Kyle Edmund vs Richard Gasquet is live from Antwerp on Saturday, 20 October from 5:30pm local time/ 4:30pm BST

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Edmund vs Gasquet ATP Antwerp Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Edmund and Gasquet meet in a repeat of 2016 Antwerp semi-final

Top seed, Kyle Edmund takes on Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals of the European Open on Saturday. Will the British No. 1 earn revenge for his 2016 defeat to the Frenchman? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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