Gasquet to L'Equipe: I never flirted with Bartoli

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In what qualifies as news when the ATP and WTA seasons are slowly winding down, Richard Gasquet tells L'Equipe magazine in a new Q&A that he never flirted with fellow French tennis star Marion Bartoli. Gasquet's full quote: "I never flirted with her. I wouldn't hide it and I'm not reluctant to talk about it—I've flirted with many others." 

This flies in the face of what Bartoli herself said about an alleged dalliance when she was 16. On a French TV show, she revealed their one-time closeness after losing a Ping-Pong game and being forced then to answer a query from the host:

Elsewhere in the L'Equipe interview, Gasquet notes that he has always loved tennis—lived and breathed tennis, even—and will focus on France's effort to win the Davis Cup team event in 2014. In name-checking Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, he says his compatriots have never sought to scold him for wavering commitment to the group event. 

Bartoli retired upon losing a match in Cincinnati in August after claiming her maiden Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon. She has subsequently been highly visible, and played a club tournament at the All England Club a few weeks ago, and turned 29 on Oct. 2.

What do you think of Gasquet's declarations—c'est vrai, or does the Frenchman protest too much?

Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.

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