Richard Gasquet forged ahead to maintain his best-ever showing at the US Open, advancing to the semifinals with a thrilling, five-set victory over No. 4 David Ferrer on Wednesday afternoon.
Gasquet nearly blew a two set lead to last year's semifinalist, eventually winning 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3. The match lasted 3:23 minutes.
Wednesday's win came on the heels of Monday's five-setter which saw Gasquet prevail after a grueling 4:40 minutes. Even more challenging, Ferrer is widely known as one of the most fit players in the world – his hustle as much a staple of his game as his backhand.
“I think I have experience in five sets. I've played a lot in my life, and this one was very important to go in semis at US Open,” Gasquet said. “It's important for my game, especially against a big player like him. I kept my serve in the fifth and I broke him.”
It was a combination of timely ground strokes and concentration that allowed the 27-year-old to advance and not cough up his two-set lead, despite Ferrer's backhand which won him the third and fourth sets. Gasquet finished with 52 winners to Ferrer's 40, and was especially tough against his counterpart's serves in the fifth set. Gasquet broke Ferrer in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, then faced little resistance to win the last two.
Ferrer, who has advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the last eight Grand Slams, dropped his career record to 8-2 against the Frenchman and 19-10 in career five-set matches. Gasquet upped his total to 7-12 in such circumstances.
Prior to this year, Gasquet had advanced to the fourth round of the US Open four times but couldn't manage to break through. In fact, only once in his career has he made it past the fourth round of any major (semifinals at Wimbledon 2007).
He'll take on the winner of No. 2 Rafael Nadal (career 0-10) or No. 19 Tommy Robredo (2-2) for a spot in the finals. Fortunately, he'll have two days to rest before Saturday's match.