• US Open

Gasquet digs deep to reach semis while Nadal cruises

ESPN staff
September 4, 2013
Gasquet proud of Ferrer victory

Richard Gasquet fended off the brave challenge of David Ferrer to reach a maiden semi-final at the US Open, winning in five thrilling sets after his opponent came from two sets behind. It is only the second time in his career that Gasquet has made it through to the last-four of a major, and he adds to his run at Wimbledon in 2007 by seeing off the fourth seed at Flushing Meadows 6-3 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-3 in a pulsating encounter.

Gasquet was in control of the tie after taking the first two sets, outplaying Ferrer as he was not at his best early on. However, Ferrer, this year's French Open runner-up and semi-finalist at the US Open 12 months ago, began to fight back in typical fashion; chasing every ball down and not giving Gasquet an inch in the following two sets to come storming back.

Gasquet appeared to be suffering from nerves as the finishing line drew closer, and Ferrer was able to level the tie to force a deciding set. But, as it seemed all the momentum was with Ferrer, Gasquet recomposed and was able to get the job done as he was gifted the break in the sixth game in the fifth set after Ferrer double-faulted.

Gasquet will face Rafa Nadal who overwhelmed 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo, the victor over Roger Federer in the previous round, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. The contest lasted one hour, 40 minutes, and it really was over after 22 minutes. That's how long it took Nadal to dominate the first set, not only winning every game but also 24 of 29 points, including all seven that lasted 10 strokes or more. "I played great the first set," Nadal said. "It's my first set so far this year 100%."

"He was up very quick," said Robredo, who has now lost all seven grand slam quarter-finals he has played. "Then there was nothing else to do. He was too good."

It took Robredo 39 minutes to finally win a game, the ninth of the match, and some fans stood to applaud, probably hoping for a more competitive evening of tennis. It was not to happen. Through two sets, Nadal compiled a 19-2 edge in winners - the final tally was 28-10 - and that forehand of his also forced Robredo into plenty of errors. Every aspect of Nadal's game worked.

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