(September 4, 2013) Richard Gasquet and Flavia Pennetta advanced to the semifinals of the US Open on Wednesday.
No. 8 seed Gasquet from France booked the first place in the men’s semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 win over fourth seed David Ferrer in 3 hours, 23 minutes. The Frenchman will play the winner of the all-Spanish match – Rafael Nadal versus Tommy Robredo in the semifinals.
Gasquet came into the match having saved a match point in a five-set win over Milos Raonic. Coming into the match Gasquet was 6-12 in five-set matches while Ferrer was 19-9.
Despite taking a two set lead, one can never count out David Ferrer.
“Even if I was leading two sets to love I knew it was David Ferrer, Gasquet said. “I knew he’s a big fighter so I knew it was not over. He played well in the start in the third set.”
“Fourth set I played well too, but he was a little bit better than me. So I knew I had to keep my serve in the fifth, and that’s what I did. I did a bad game at 3‑2 for me, and then I was leading 4‑1.
“I knew I was so close to win this match, and I fight a lot to finish. Especially at 5‑3 I was a little bit nervous to go in the semis of US Open, and I managed to do it. It’s a big victory for me.”
“Well, I think Richard, he played very good game with his backhand, serving very good in important moments,” Ferrer said. “Maybe in the first and second set I didn’t play so good. I was a little bit tired.
But, anyway, I tried to do my best. I fight until the last ball, and nothing else, no? I think in the fifth set when he made me the break, I played I believe very bad in that game, no, with three mistakes easy.
But fifth set with one break down is difficult to come back again, because Richard is a top‑10 player.”
“The last time I beat him, I was 13 years old,” Gasquet said about Nadal during his on court interview. “I’ve beaten him one time in my life.”
“He was already fighting a lot already, already running so much, and I remember I won maybe 6‑4 in a set, and I told my father after, He’s a big fighter.
“I didn’t lie; I was true. In the future, this one is biggest player in the world in the history. So for sure I won that time at 13 years old, but since this match I didn’t…”
As for the first match in Ashe Stadium, it was a showdown of a pair of Italians who have known each other since childhood. No. 83 Pennetta, once in the top 10, beat No. 10 seed Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-1.
“I think in the beginning we didn’t play good tennis,” Pennetta said. I was tight; she was tight, also.
“When I won the first set I just relax a little bit and tried to play better.
But the day was tough for both of us.”
“I know how she plays, she knows everything of me,” Pennetta said. “We get in the court, and I think today was more about inside, not about tennis. It was about how you play, how you feel in the court, and how can you handle the situation.”
Pennetta will play the winner of the match between No. 2 Victoria Azarenka and No. 48 Daniela Hantuchova. Pennetta has knocked out four straight seeds – (4) Sara Errani, (21) Simona Halep, (27) Svetlana Kuznetsova and (10) Vinci
“It’s good to stay physical, in a good way, and play this good tennis at this age, of course,” Pennetta said of her play. “I’m proud of (myself) now. I’m 31, and physically, I feel good finally. I’m in the first semifinal in Grand Slam. There is nothing to say more.”