Richard Gasquet overcame a big hurdle on his way to the Rome Tennis Masters quarterfinals as he defeated no.4 seed Andy Murray in a three set battle, winning 6-7 (1) 6-3 6-2.
It was Murray who was going into the match with a 5-3 head to head record against the Frenchman.
The first set lasted an unbelievable 83 minutes, the Brit breaking his opponent’s serve in the 7th game. At 5-3 up, Murray failed to convert a set point on Gasquet’s serve and the Frenchman broke him in the following game when Murray was looking to close it out. But it was the Brit who outplayed Gasquet in the tiebreak to take a lead in the match.
Gasquet responded in the best possible way, breaking Murray in the opening game of the second set. Despite dropping his serve when serving for the set at 5-2, the Frenchman struck again and took the Brit’s serve to force a decider.
Murray’s body language wasn’t anywhere as positive as Gasquet’s, who dominated the deciding set. Two breaks of serve secured the Frenchman a quarterfinal spot and he will face Spaniard David Ferrer next.
No.6 seed Ferrer eliminated Gilles Simon of France, beating him 6-0 7-6 (5) and moving into the last 8.
In a huge Thursday drama, Italy’s Andreas Seppi overcame the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in three tiebreaks 6-7 (1) 7-6 (6) 7-6 (6).
Seppi managed to save 6 match points on his way to victory and sent the Rome crowd into a frenzy.