For the sixth time in Stanislas Wawrinka’s career, he recovered from a two sets deficit as he defeated local hero Richard Gasquet in an epic five setter on Monday.
Wawrinka was the one in charge during most of the rallies at the beginning but went on to lose the first set. He managed to put pressure on the Frenchman’s serve, but when it really mattered, Wawrinka made basic unforced errors. Eventually, it led to Gasquet winning the set in a very close tiebreak.
The fact that Wawrinka lost a set he was very much in charge of, truly gave him a mental blow as he lost four consecutive games in the second, witnessing his opponent race into a 4-0 lead. Wawrinka recovered, breaking back once, but it was not enough as the Frenchman won it 6-4.
The rest of the match was nothing but truly fantastic. The cross-court duels were absolutely amazing throughout the whole match, but Wawrinka proved to be the most patient the longer the match went on. Eventually it paid of as he won the third set 6-4.
The fourth set was extremely close, but unlike the first two sets, it was Wawrinka who won the points that mattered the most. Gasquet forced a break point at 5-5, which was saved.
Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he paid the price in the following game as Wawrinka then had his chance. A chance he captured very well by firing a rocket forehand down the line to level the match and force a deciding set.
The fifth set had everything a lover of tennis could ask for. It had passion, incredible fighting spirit and moreover some shot making that should not be able to produce, from both placers.
At 5-5, just like in the previous set, Gasquet got a golden opportunity having 2 breakpoints to gain a massive lead. However, Wawrinka saved them both, again.
In the 14th game, with Gasquet serving to stay in the tournament, Wawrinka came up with some of the tournaments most incredible shots to gain match points. Wawrinka converted his opportunity the match, with a rocket forehand winner.
The factors that really separated the two in the end was the stunning recklessness that Swiss came up with on the important points. He went for the big shots, and he nailed almost all of them in the last three sets. That along with the fact that the Frenchman was completely out of fuel in the end, barely having the power to neither run, serve or hit properly.
A disappointed Gasquet told the reporters: "I had so many opportunities. He played incredible. It was not my day. The crowd was incredible. They supported me, and they did what they had to do. But I'm disappointed to have lost. I can't give more than I gave today.
"He was fresher than I was. He was serving first serves at more than 215 kilometres. After two hours, that's huge. He took his chances. He's such a great player, one of the best ones I've ever played. We were really close. I could have reached the quarter-finals, I know. I was so close. "But then, after all, that's sports. You need to have a loser. This evening I was the loser. I thought I would be winning this match several times."
Wawrinka now continues his Roland Garros campaign by facing ”The King of Clay” and seven times champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter finals.
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