Gasquet powers through to U.S. Open semifinals
Rarely has a player dominated so much on the strength of his backhand as Richard Gasquet in today’s upset quarterfinal victory over #4 seed David Ferrer. After barely surviving a 5 set thriller against Canadian ace Milos Raonic, Gasquet could have been expected to start slow against the indefatigable Ferrer, but it was the Frenchman who powered through the first 2 sets rifling pinpoint one-handed backhands cross court and down the line as the Spaniard looked helplessly on. Gasquet’s backhand is such a thing of beauty the crowd was mesmerized and the only question was whether he could sustain the momentum and close out the match. Sure enough, Ferrer came to life in the 3rd and 4th sets as his aggressive play pushed Gasquet further and further back behind the baseline, but after a poor service game in the deciding set at 2-2, the Spanish veteran was unable to catch up as Gasquet prevailed 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3. The victory was an enormous coup for the talented Frenchman, who will most likely face the unstoppable Rafael Nadal in the semis. Will Nadal’s history of success against one-handed backhand players continue or does Gasquet have a fighting chance? In either case, Richard showed a lot of skill in getting to his first semi-final appearance at a grand slam in 6 years (beating Roddick to advance at the 2007 Wimbledon semis) and his first ever U.S. Open semifinal appearance.