|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Gasquet upsets Roddick in five-set thriller
Rex Gowar | July 07, 2007 01:35 IST
Richard Gasquet tamed Andy Roddick's [Images] power game with some brilliant all-court tennis to upset the American number three seed 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 8-6 and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time on Friday.
Roddick looked to be cruising to a three-set victory in the quarter-final on Court One and even went a break up in the third set.
But the 21-year-old Gasquet, seeded 12th, raised his game and played two commanding tiebreaks to get back in the match.
Gasquet, who had never before reached the last eight at a grand slam tournament, won the match when another crosscourt winner from the baseline set up two match points on Roddick's serve and the American netted on the first.
Gasquet meets world number one Roger Federer [Images] in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Roddick broke Gasquet's serve in the ninth game on his way to taking the first set comfortably and the American broke again in the fifth game of the second after a successful challenge to a line call against him on a second break point.
He also broke in the first game of the third set on a wide return by Gasquet but the Frenchman broke back in the eighth game.
Gasquet then showed what he might really be capable of with a bold display in the tiebreak. A neat chip set up set point, and he won it 7-2 to become the first man to take a set off the former U.S. Open champion this tournament.
Gasquet's ascendancy carried into the fourth set and Roddick had to fend off two break points in the opening game as the Frenchman continued to give as good as he got from the back of the court and impose his net play.
The Frenchman moved Roddick from one side to the other with pinpoint crosscourt backhands then hit winners down the lines. The American regularly got stranded at the net and watched the ball pass him by.
With no breaks of service, the fourth set tiebreak was also dominated by Gasquet who settled it with a series of crosscourt forehand and backhand winners, taking a 6-1 lead and converting his third break point.
The match-deciding break of service came in the 13th game of the final set as the shadows began to lengthen and Gasquet finally overcame the former world number one and last American in the men's draw.