Novak needed just and hour and 47 minutes to beat the owner of the worlds best single handed backhand. Impressively Novak lifted his level against Gasquet, playing sharper tennis than he had against Juan Martin del Potro in the previous round.
The one man looking sharp enough to potentially dethrone Novak is Roger Federer who is on route to meeting the Serb in the semi finals before a potential final meeting with Rafa Nadal (assuming Rafa starts playing a bit better).
Novak should have no trouble dismissing his next opponent Fabio Fognini who had cramping/injury issues at the end of his epic five set match with Albert Montanes. Fognini will be too tired to put up much resistance. Fognini will become Novak’s 42 consecutive scalp to allow him to equal John McEnroe’s season start winning record.
“It’s never easy and I didn’t expect it to be easy, that’s for sure. Maybe the score line says differently, but I had to work. The first two sets it was only one break that decided it. We were both winning our service games quite comfortably. Each set I played one really good return service game and that was enough.
I think I’m playing really well at the moment and today I increased the level from the last match, which makes me even happier. I just want to maintain this level.”