US Open: Richard Gasquet beats David Ferrer in five sets to reach semi-finals
Richard Gasquet staved off a storming fightback from David Ferrer to book his place in a first-ever US Open semi-final.
Last Updated: 05/09/13 7:50am
The French eighth seed eventually prevailed in an epic five-set quarter-final 6-3 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-3 in just under three-and-a-half hours and will next face Rafael Nadal or Tommy Robredo for a place in the final.
Gasquet, who needed five sets to defeat Milos Raonic in the previous round, came into the match with a 1-8 record against fourth-seeded Ferrer, who had won their five previous meetings without losing a set.
But Gasquet looked destined to turn the formbook on its head when he stormed into a two-set lead.
The 27-year-old took the opener 6-3 as his infamous one-handed backhand proved too hot for Ferrer to handle.
The Spaniard, who has struggled for form since the clay-court season, was blown away in the second set 6-1 and it came as somewhat of a surprise when he broke early in the third to change the momentum of the match.
Gasquet had retreated far behind the baseline and, although there were still plenty of shots to wow the crowd, Ferrer was in charge.
The Frenchman had chances in the middle of the fourth set but did not take them, and when Ferrer pulled level it appeared the match was only heading one way.
Of Gasquet's last six five-set defeats at grand slams, five of them have come after he was two sets up.
But there have been signs this season that Gasquet was ready to leave his reputation behind him.
And he showed in his fourth-round victory over Raonic, where he saved a match point in the fourth set before going on to win in five, that he could battle and win.
In the end it was Ferrer that cracked, the man known as the 'little beast' serving a double fault on break point in the sixth game.
And there was not so much as a wobble from Gasquet, who clinched victory on his first match point with his 52nd winner.
Gasquet said afterwards: "I played a great match at the start despite the wind in the stadium. But David is a great fighter and I was a little tired after a big match with Raonic.
"I got the break in the final set and it's an amazing feeling to be in the semi-finals. I have played a lot of five sets in my career but I still needed to play big to get the victory."