Gasquet Blunts Raonic Serve To Reach Quarter-Finals

by
Reuters
Frenchman Richard Gasquet saved a match point and survived a barrage of heavy shots from Canada's Milos Raonic before booking a spot in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Monday.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet saved a match point and survived a barrage of heavy shots from Canada's Milos Raonic before booking a spot in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Monday.

Raonic thumped 39 aces past Gasquet but the eighth seed waited for his opportunities, winning 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(9) 7-5 after an exhausting slugfest that lasted four hours and 40 minutes.

Raonic also hit a staggering total of 102 winners but paid the price for coughing up unforced errors, more than twice as many as Gasquet.

"I had to stay patient," said Gasquet. "I took a lot of aces today.

"I got lucky in the fourth set tibreaker when I saved a match point , then I played an inrecidible fifth set."

The 27-year-old Frenchman has been a consistent performer on the professional circuit since 2002 but this was just the second time he made it to a grand slam quarter-final.

The only other occasion was when he made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007.

His opponent in the next round is Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, who advanced after a hard-fought 7-6(2) 3-6 7-5 7-6(3) win over Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

For Raonic, a 22-year-old moving quickly up the rankings, it was a bitter loss as he was on the verge of becoming the first Canadian man to reach the singles quarter-finals of a grand slam since Mike Belkin at the Australian Open in 1968.

"He played better down the stretch than I did. I think that was pretty clear," Raonic said.

"He created a lot more opportunities. I struggled a lot more on my service games.

"I think that's pretty much what it came down to. Playing that way in the end, it only matters who wins that last point."