ATP Estoril: Kevin Anderson overcomes Richard Gasquet in a third set tiebreaker

South African Kevin Anderson defeated the second-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4) at the Estoril Open which saw him book a place in the semifinals. He will now play Gilles Muller, who came through in three sets in the last match on centre court. 

Anderson grabs late double break to win the opening set

Beginning proceeding in the sunshine, Kevin Anderson were to save an early break point at 30-40 before going on to hold serve for 1-0. For Gasquet, he would hold serve much easier to also hold and get on the scoreboard at 1-1. The match took a while to get started with both players getting into a rhythm on serve, holding the next three serves with the South African ahead at 3-2. In the sixth game, Anderson came out looking positive and attacked Gasquet throughout, which yielded double break point chances going his way at 15-40. 

A focused Kevin Anderson gearing up to hit a forehand shot (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
A focused Kevin Anderson gearing up to hit a forehand shot (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

After a succession of forehands, the 30-year-old broke by reaching and playing back a volley into the court to go 4-2 ahead. He then followed this up by consolidating and going just the game away from the set at 5-2. Serving to stay in the opener, Gasquet fell behind triple break/set points after sending a backhand shot long of the baseline. First time of asking, Anderson clinched the set 6-2 with Gasquet once more firing an unforced error. 

Gasquet draws level to send match to a deciding set

Gasquet started the second set more positively and after sending the game to deuce, he then created an opening and hit a volley passing shot to bring up a break point chance. However, Anderson would quickly snuff out the situation but once more, Gasquet found a way to a second break point. This time, the Frenchman broke with the world number 66 sending a forehand long. A hold to love from Gasquet made it 0-2 and a perfect start to the set. The South African found it tough in the second set, often being taken to deuce and with the score at 1-3, he fell behind a break point.

Richard Gasquet plays a backhand shot (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet plays a backhand shot (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

The South African's booming serve got him out of trouble as he saved the break point and then went on to hold serve as he stayed just the break behind. The next three service games went by quickly with the second seed holding twice for a 3-5 lead. A double fault from the Johannesburg-born gave the world number 23 triple break points. He would save two and on the third set point after pummeling  Anderson with a number of backhands, Gasquet wrapped up the set with a neat dropshot, 3-6. 

Anderson prevails on tiebreak

The start of the set began with Gasquet holding serve to 30. The Frenchman then with the momentum on his side, went up triple break points. He did have one breakpoint saved but grabbed his second going up 0-2 early on just like in the second set. But Gasquet failed to consolidate and allowed the African to grab a quick break back point after striking a backhand winner.

Anderson would win the point and go on to break back to level at 1-2. After sending the game to deuce three times, Gasquet then grabbed a breakpoint, which would be saved by Anderson. The Frenchman would then have two more break points saved with the African eventually consolidating and drawing level, 2-2.

Kevin Anderson celebrates winning a point (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Kevin Anderson celebrates winning a point (Photo: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

The next three service games were held with ease but 3-4, the 30-yra-old would encounter a tough game going on to deny Gasquet two breakpoints before leveling at 4-4 all. Both then held their service games with Anderson sending the match to a deciding tiebreaker. The 30-year-old Frenchman would immediately lose the first point and fall behind in the tiebreaker until the seventh game where he broke Anderson back before winning the eighth point to draw level, 4-4.

But he was broken in the next point at 5-4 with Anderson then grabbing two match points at 6-4. Anderson won the next point and clinched the match to knock out the second seed and 2015 champion. 

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