Gasquet battles back to stun Roddick
Richard Gasquet won a thrilling Wimbledon battle with Andy Roddick on Friday to set up a semi-final showdown with defending champion Roger Federer.
The French 12th seed produced a remarkable comeback from two sets down to win 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3) 8-6 and reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Gasquet looked dead and buried as Roddick surged into a third set lead, but the 21-year-old eventually over-powered the American third seed in dramatic fashion.
Roddick has twice been a runner-up at the All-England Club and it will take quite some time to get over one of the most painful defeats of his career.
He holds the record for the world's fastest serve and he used the formidable weapon to keep Gasquet on the back-foot in the first two sets.
With his serve established Roddick gradually found his rhythm with his returns as well and broke in the ninth game. That advantage was always going to be more than enough and he easily closed out the first set.
The second set followed a similiar pattern. Roddick was content to batter down his serves and wait for Gasquet to crack under the weight of such a constant barrage.
It took just five games for the American to break and his increasingly dispirited opponent had no answer.
Roddick, scenting a chance to put the result beyond doubt, broke again early in the third set.
Gasquet could have been forgiven if he had waved the white flag in surrender, but he refused to accept defeat easily and broke back.
The set went to a tie-break and it was Gasquet rather than Roddick who took the initiative. He hit a series of winners with powerful backhands to easily take the set and keep his hopes alive.
Gasquet was playing with a new found freedom now and Roddick was unable to find an answer to his carefree shot-making.
The set went to a tie-break and again it was Gasquet who made the running with Roddick forced to watch and admire as Gasquet blazed away with impunity to take the final to a deciding set.
The impression grew that Roddick was clinging on rather than dominating. It was just a question of whether Gasquet could drive home his advantage.
He finally did in the 14th game of a gripping finale. Gasquet raced to two match points and quickly wrapped up the match before slumping to his knees in triumph.