Davis Cup: Richard Gasquet routs Borna Coric to put France ahead

The visitors got off to a dream start with a perfect start as the Frenchman put the hosts in an early hole.

Davis Cup: Richard Gasquet routs Borna Coric to put France ahead
Richard Gasquet hits a backhand to Borna Coric during their Davis Cup semifinal match in Zadar/Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/Davis Cup
Richard Gasquet
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Borna Coric

Richard Gasquet dismantled Borna Coric 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-1 to put France ahead 1-0 in their Davis Cup semifinal tie. Gasquet was only called upon to play when both Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew with knee injuries.

Gasquet races out to early lead, never looks back to take the early lead

After their stunning comeback against the United States in the quarterfinals, Croatia earned a home tie in this semifinal matchup and had to feel good with the withdrawls of Monfils and Tsonga, but Gasquet got the French out to an early lead with a break in the second game to go up 2-0. Coric wasn't having much luck in making inroads on Gasquet's serve and the set was quickly over when the Frenchman broke again in the eighth game to take the opening set in just 36 minutes.

Gasquet was ruthless in jumping out to an early one set lead, needing just 36 minutes to take the first set/Photo: Davis Cup
Gasquet was ruthless in jumping out to an early one set lead, needing just 36 minutes to take the first set/Photo: Davis Cup

Coric blows second set lead, Gasquet wins tiebreak to take commanding two set edge

The second set saw opening breaks traded and when both players settled in, it was Coric who was out on top. After each man held three times in succession, the Croat broke Gasquet for the first time in the match to take a 5-4 lead. Now tasked with serving out the set, he was unable to do so, Gasquet breaking on his third chance of the game. After easy holds were traded, the tiebreak saw Coric take the lead at 3-1. As with the ninth game, he couldn't hang on as Gasquet stormed back with five straight points to take a 6-3 lead. Now with three opportunities to close out the set, he would need all of them as Coric did well to save two, but when the dust settled, it was the Frenchman who emerged with the set and now held a seemingly insurmountable two set lead.

Gasquet came from a break down to win the second set in a tiebreaker after Coric had served for it at 5-4 ahead/Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/Davis Cup
Gasquet came from a break down to win the second set in a tiebreaker after Coric had served for it at 5-4 ahead/Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/Davis Cup

Gasquet runs away with the third set to send France into the early lead in the tie

Seemingly low on confidence after wasting the chance to win the second set, Coric was broken in the third game as Gasquet took a 2-1 lead. Any hope of a comeback was seemingly gone and this was confirmed when the Frenchman broke again in the fifth game for a 4-1, double break lead. With the match outcome no longer in doubt, Coric surrendered his serve one last time in a meek display as Gasquet ran out a deserved winner, the Croat winning just two points in his final three service games. Gasquet gives France an early 1-0 lead as Marin Cilic looks to get Croatia even when he takes on Lucas Pouille in the second singles match of the day.

Gasquet was pumped after winning the third set in flawless fashion, wrapping up a comprehensive victory to send France into the early lead in the tie/Photo: Corrine Dubreuil/Davis Cup
Gasquet was pumped after winning the third set in flawless fashion, wrapping up a comprehensive victory to send France into the early lead in the tie/Photo: Corrine Dubreuil/Davis Cup