By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday March 10, 2023
There are three players aged 35 or older remaining in the BNP Paribas Open men’s singles draw, and they each just happen to be legends – Andy Murray (35), Richard Gasquet (36) and Stan Wawrinka (37).
Each gave an excellent account of themselves in round one, giving fans a taste of what took them to the top of the sport in their heyday.
Murray — he of the metal hip — defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry, rallying from a set down for the fourth time this season and improving his record in deciders to 7-0. The Scot has been remarkable in 2023, loggin in 31 hours of court time in his 10 matches, and playing one dramatic epic after another.
Wawrinka edged out Aussie qualifier Aleksandar Vukic, also in three sets, while Gasquet, still displaying plenty of the vintage form that took him to World No.7, topped Croatia’s Borna Gojo in three.
The generation which never gives up ❤️@andy_murray reflects on his admiration for Wawrinka & Gasquet late in their playing careers…@stanwawrinka @richardgasquet1 #TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/H9UnzcPq8v
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 10, 2023
After his win on Thursday, Murray was asked to give his thoughts about his fellow 35-somethings, and had the following to say about Wawrinka and Gasquet.
“I mean me and Stan always stayed in touch during the injuries and stuff, I mean not like daily but messages here and there,” he said of Wawrinka, adding:
“We always got on very well together and obviously we’ve shared the court with each other many times. We always sort of message each other and we have stayed in touch through the injuries.” There are 1,869 wins and 78 titles between the trio, and their is also – clearly – a bond of friendship.
Murray says that 36-year-old Gasquet, who has never won a major title, but has racked up 595 wins and 16 titles, doesn’t get nearly enough respect for what he has achieved over the course of his 21-year career.
The Frenchman, who turns 37 on June 18, has four Top-10 finishes and three Grand Slam semifinals to his name. He started his career on tour as a 15-year-old in 2002, winning on his debut on Monte-Carlo.
These days, he’s playing his heart out on tour for the love of the sport, and still highly competitive. He defeated Cameron Norrie to win the title in Auckland just two months ago.
“I was really happy for him when he won the tournament in Auckland earlier this year because I think sometimes he maybe doesn’t…
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