US OPEN 2013
Gasquet Breaks New Ground At Flushing Meadows
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
"Even if I was leading two sets to love I knew it was David Ferrer. I knew he's a big fighter so I knew it was not over," said Gasquet. "I knew I was so close to win this match, and I fight a lot to finish. Especially at 5-3 I was a little bit nervous to go in the semis of US Open, and I managed to do it. It's a big victory for me."
The Frenchman will look to reach his first Grand Slam final when he faces Rafael Nadal on Saturday. He will contest his second major semi-final, having reached the last four at Wimbledon in 2007 (l. to Federer). He is just the second Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals in New York and will hope to emulate Cedric Pioline’s feat of reaching the 1993 final.
Before his dramatic five-set win over Milos Raonic in the fourth round, in which he saved one match point, Gasquet had lost his past 11 fourth-round matches at Grand Slam championships. The 27-year-old Frenchman overturned a 1-8 FedEx ATP Head2Head deficit against Ferrer to keep his run alive at Flushing Meadows.
"Was a little bit tired after Raonic. We play four hours, 30 minutes, but I knew I could play another big match," said Gasquet. "I was feeling not so tired this morning, and I knew I had to be aggressive. My backhand was working very good today. I think it was the key of the match. I played a lot of down the line, and it worked very good... When I'm serving great and I have this backhand, I think I can play well."
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After saving three break points in the first game of the match, Gasquet broke for a 3-1 lead, benefitting from one of a spate of errors from Ferrer, which would ultimately cost the Spaniard the opening two sets. Gasquet hit 15 winners to just three from Ferrer in a second set which exhibited the Frenchman’s full array of shot making.
Two sets to the good, though, and Gasquet was immediately rocked as Ferrer broke to love to open the third set. Gasquet fought back from a 4-1 double break deficit to reclaim one of the service breaks, but Ferrer closed out the set in the 10th game to initiate his comeback.
Ferrer dominated the fourth set, raising his first serve percentage to 71 per cent and saving three break points in the sixth game before breaking Gasquet twice to force a deciding set. It looked as though the Spaniard would carry his momentum into the fifth set, but Gasquet steadied himself to save a break point in the sixth game before breaking Ferrer decisively and serving out the victory in three hours and 23 minutes.
"I think Richard played a very good game with his backhand and he was serving very good in important moments," said Ferrer. "Maybe in the first and second sets I didn't play so good. I was a little bit tired. But I tried to do my best.
"I fought until the last ball. I think in the fifth set when he got the break, I played very bad in that game, with three easy mistakes. But in a fifth set with one break down it is difficult to come back again, because Richard is a Top 10 player."
The 31-year-old Ferrer was attempting to reach the US Open semi-finals for the third time (2007, ’12). He reached his first Grand Slam final three months ago at Roland Garros, finishing runner-up to Nadal.
World No. 9 Gasquet has a 39-14 record in 2013, winning titles in Doha (d. Davydenko) and Montpellier (d. Paire). Coming into the US Open, he had followed a quarter-final showing in Montreal with a second-round exit in Cincinnati (l. to Isner).
Ferrer Receives Sportsmanship Award
David Ferrer was named the recipient of the 2013 US Open Sportsmanship Award, and received a trophy from USTA Sportsmanship Selection Committee Chairman Todd Martin before his post-match press conference. A $5,000 donation will also be made to the charity of Ferrer's choice.
“As relentless a competitor as David is on the court, he is just as respectful toward the game and his opponents,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty. “David personifies what the US Open Sportsmanship Award represents and certainly deserves the recognition.”
The annual US Open Sportmanship Award, introduced in 2012, is presented to the player who best exhibits sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan won it last year.