The top-seeded Gasquet, who turned 21 Monday, improved to 11-0 at this event with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Vincent Spadea. The Frenchman beat Swede Jonas Bjorkman, the 1998 and 2002 titlist here, in last year's finale.
In other opening-round play, Frenchman Gilles Simon beat Romanian Andrei Pavel 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, and Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was leading Englishman Alex Bogdanovic 6-4, 0-1 when their match was suspended.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Jordana Brewster on Paul Walker: 'He was an enormous presence in my life'