Gasquet beats Spadea in Nottingham

NOTTINGHAM, England -- Richard Gasquet began defense of his
Nottingham Open title Monday by beating Vincent Spadea 6-3, 6-4.

The top-seeded Frenchman, who celebrated his 21st birthday
Monday, is seeking a third consecutive title at Nottingham, a
grass-court warmup for Wimbledon.

Gasquet fought back after dropping his serve early in the first
set and was rarely troubled afterward in moving to the second

"Spadea is never easy to play against," Gasquet said. "I am
really happy to get my first win here, especially with it being my
birthday. It is a special day for me.

"I wasn't confident because I played badly last week. I had to
play a great match to win. It is not easy to play against him and
it's nice for me to win again here. I like the court and the

Gasquet lost in the first round of the grass-court tournament in
Halle, Germany, last Tuesday.

Also in the first round, Sebastien Grosjean of France beat
fifth-seeded Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-4, and Gilles Simon of France
defeated Andrei Pavel of Romania 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Rain suspended play later in the day with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
of Spain leading Alex Bogdanovic of Britain 6-4, 0-1.