Matches of the Year: No. 6 – Gasquet vs. Raonic

The Grandstand presents its 2013 Matches of the Year, continuing with No. 6. Relegated to Court 17 for a fourth-round match at the U.S. Open because of rain earlier in the day, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic played will into the night to make for a raucous New York atmosphere. Ricky Dimon and Hasan Murad recap the five-setter.

Richard Gasquet d. Milos Raonic 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(9), 7-5 – U.S. Open fourth round

Sometimes 102 winners aren’t enough.

That’s the number Raonic fired in his fourth-round U.S. Open showdown against Gasquet. It almost got the Canadian over the hump and into the quarterfinals, but Gasquet was not to be denied on this day—or more like this night.

While this may not have been a “must-watch” matchup on paper, that it turned into a high-quality blockbuster could not have been entirely unexpected. Both Gasquet and Raonic enjoyed career-best seasons in 2013. The Canadian took huge strides and finally broke into the Top 10 (albeit momentarily) while Gasquet won a career-high three titles and 50 matches to end the season as world No.9. When they faced each other in New York, Raonic was attempting to reach his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal as Gasquet was bidding to make only his second appearance in the last eight of a major.

Raonic made a promising start by taking a tiebreaker in a first set during which he tripled Gasquet’s winners count (21 to seven). The 10th seed failed to serve out the opener at 5-4, but he finished the job at 6-4 in the ‘breaker with a crushing inside-out forehand. However, his much more experienced opponent returned the favor by winning the second set in similar fashion. Gasquet struck 12 winners and only three errors en route to snagging the next tiebreaker by the same score.

It was raining aces as Raonic powered his way to a comfortable 6-2 capturing of the third set. He blasted 15 winners to Gasquet’s two, converted both of his break chances, and lost a mere one point in four service games.

A wild fourth set began with a frustrated Gasquet. The Frenchman had famously thrown his socks onto the court after losing the opening set, and now he complained to Eric Molina about the crowd being excessively boisterous during play. Nonetheless, Gasquet battled back from a break down then saved a match point before benefiting from an ill-timed Raonic double-fault at 9-9 in the tiebreaker.

With neither man known for his physical fitness, it was conspicuous that both players—particularly Raonic—were starting to get jaded. Gasquet eventually broke Raonic for 6-5, puffed his cheeks and heaved a sigh of relief. The No. 8 seed had given back a break earlier in the fifth, but he made no mistake with victory on his racket in the 12th game. Finally, Gasquet finished the four-hour and 40-minute marathon, which featured truly admirable efforts from both players.

“I did my best,” Raonic assured. “I can’t do more. I’m very sad, but that’s normal.”

“I did it,” beamed a proud Gasquet. “And it’s a big victory for me.”

You can say that again…because it got even bigger two days later when Gasquet parlayed into another five-set victory, this time over David Ferrer after trailing two sets to love. The end result was the second Grand Slam semifinal of Gasquet’s career.

12 Comments on Matches of the Year: No. 6 – Gasquet vs. Raonic

  1. I am so happy that I watched this match. It had so many ups and downs and changes of momentum. I think both guys brought their best and made this a great match to watch.

    I was surprised to see Gasquet hold up so well in that fifth set. The commentators said that he has been working hard on his fitness and it showed when it counted.

    Very entertaining!

  2. very well said NNY, gasquet’s improved fitness really helped him in this season. If he can become more aggressive with his forehand and improve his fitness, he will be even more dangerous.

  3. It wasn’t just improved physical fitness. 2013 saw a marked improvement in Reeshard’s mental toughness too which enabled him to post his best results in years.

    • Yes, Reeshad showed improvement in all departments in 2013, but he needs to improve some more his physical conditioning. At FO 2013 he played Wawan in R16, Reeshie lost, 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 8-6.

      What struck me was what Wawa said after in the presser. Wawa said even when he lost the first 2 sets he (Wawa) still was confident he would win because he KNEW he was stronger than Reeshie and therefore was quite happy for the happy to go the distance because Reeshie would tire.

      Now, when your fellow pros know that you are weak, relatively, in the physical department, you need to do something about it otherwise you have already lost the mental battle while still in the locker-room.

      Physical conditioning is what gave Novak the confidence, and edge, in 2011. Suddenly he could hang with Rafa, and even outlast him because Rafa was not 100% in some matches during that year. Dimitrov, for all his promise, has been un-done by his lack of physical conditioning.

      People like Reeshie and Dimitrov have earned enough on tour to be able to afford a full-time physical fitness trainer surely?

      • the MOST shocking Gasquet match in 2013, of course, was the quarterfinal against Ferrer.

        how he won that, I will never know. no matter how many times I watch it.

  4. I was at the OPEN that day, but couldn’t get into Ct 17…was totally packed w/long lines. a great match, for sure.

Comments are closed.

in the same Rolex Cellini Replica style as the team replica watches. I find the engraving far more satisfying, but would have liked to see a bit more depth to it. There is a little more branding on the PRC200. Firstly, Burberry handbags the 6 oclock sub-dial sports a basketball image in grey. Additionally, the pushers are edged with red (top) and blue (bottom), Breitling Replica Watches UK which is, to me, the coolest thing.