It was only last night (Australian time) I was saying to my family that Richard Gasquet was going to beat Roger Federer, they thought I was insane but this morning I woke up to discover I was right. The Frenchman with a colourful history and one of the most beautiful backhands I’ve ever seen beat world number three Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in their third round match in Rome.
Federer started the match strongly taking an early 2-0 lead before being broken, Richard leveling the set at 3 all. Federer again took the chance to break despite the Frenchman’s great serving and took a 4-3 lead before comfortably serving the set out.
In the second set Gasquet fell behind again quickly 2-4 before some brilliant play at the net allowed him to claw his way back into the match. Gasquet proved too strong in the tie break, talking it 7-2.
After trading breaks repeatedly in the first two sets both players worked to hold consistently in the third set forcing a tie break. By winning today Gasquet has ended Federer reign over him that has spanned over 6 years and 8 matches since the last, and only other time the Frenchman beat Roger.
After being a set and a break up, preparing to close out the match, Federer was irritated by the loss.
Gasquet will now face Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals and then potentially the winner of Rafa Nadal V Marin Cilic.
“I did a very good match for sure and as you can imagine I am very happy to beat Roger. This does not happen so many times so I have to enjoy it. His forehand is very fast and the court today is very fast and very difficult conditions, but I tried to play good as I had nothing to lose and this is very important. I cannot play my game with a lot of pressure.” – Richard Gasquet
“I had multiple chances . That is how it goes. Sometimes it is unfortunate because I was playing well and then it didn’t happen at all any more so it was a disappointing end to the match. But it will not affect my preparation and work for the French Open, I will be fine. I definitely think I should not have lost this match and that is kind of annoying.” – Roger Federer