ATP Marseille: Richard Gasquet comes from a set down to finish off top seed Gael Monfils

ATP Marseille: Richard Gasquet comes from a set down to finish off top seed Gael Monfils

Richard Gasquet needed three sets to defeat his Davis Cup teammate Gael Monfils to progress to the semifinals at the Open 13, where he has yet to win the title.

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In the last quarterfinal match at the Open 13, Richard Gasquet defeated top seed Gael Monfils 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 to progress into the semifinals. The world number 19 and sixth seed faces fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille who also won in three sets earlier against rising Russian Daniil Medvedev

Gasquet takes the first set via tiebreaker

Both started the match off with holds of serve. In the third game, after three deuces, Monfils earned a break point before forcing Gasquet to play the error as he broke. However, the French number one couldn't capitalise and Gasquet grabbed a break back point. This was saved but the sixth seed brought a second break point up and broke back with an exquisite backhand down the level. He followed it up by consolidating serve and drawing level at 3-3. The both players then found their rhythm on serve, trading blows in the next five games with the set now level once more at 5-5.

Gael Monfils plays a backhand shot (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)
Gael Monfils plays a backhand shot (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)

The eleventh game saw the 29-year-old bring up more break points, this time at 30-40. This was immediately rebuffed as Monfils held serve to go ahead and put the pressure on his French teammate. He dealt with the pressure quite comfortably, holding serve to 15 to force a tiebreaker. Monfils began by losing serve in the opening point only to then break the world number 19 in the seventh point and again in the 11th point, this time earning set point. He finished with an ace out wide to take the set, 6-7(5). 

Gasquet fights back, sets up a deciding set 

Having won the opening set, Monfils tried consolidating momentum by applying pressure to Gasquet but saw three break points saved as his French teammate went on to eventually hold. It was Gasquet who would apply pressure to the number one seed in the very next game. At 30-15, the world number 19 hit a slice and charged at the net which put Monfils off as he hit a shot straight into the net.A double fault followed and Gasquet broke for 2-0 then went on to hold for 3-0 after being taken to deuce. The world number 12 finally stopped the rot and held his first service game of the set to get on the board at 3-1.

Richard Gasquet gears up to hit a return (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet gears up to hit a return (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)

Just three games later at 4-2, Monfils found an opening and took his chances, bringing up two break points. The first one was saved but he broke back on the next point when he applied pressuring to Gasquet's backhand. Gasquet would go on to regain his break lead with his third attempt, which would see him have the chance to finish the set.But Monfils had other ideas and the breaks continued, running away to a love-40 lead and winning the point for 5-4. The 29-year-old would end Monfils' resistance and at the second attempt, ended the set with a dropshot to force a decider. 

Gasquet finishes off Monfils, advances to the semifinals

The third set would be dominated by the lower-ranked Frenchman. The first three games of the set would be holds of serve and with Gasquet in front at 2-1, he piled on the pressure. He took Monfils to deuce before hitting a spectacular forehand return to bring up a break point at advantage. The world number 12 double faulted handing the break to Gasquet, who then confirmed the break and went 4-1 up.

Richard Gasquet hits a return to Gael Monfils (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet hits a return to Gael Monfils (Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images)

With Gasquet still up a break, Monfils struggled to break him down on serve and with his break still intact, he found himself serving to stay in the tournament at 5-2. The 29-year-old did nothing but force errors from the 30-year-old and at 15-30, he did so again to bring up a break/match point. Gasquet hit a slice, ventured to the net and showed great reflexes to hit the ball short as Monfils failed to run the ball down, ultimately ending his interest in the tournament. 

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