When the draw came out, this was the quarter that was meant to ‘collapse’ with the two perceived weakest top 8 seeds vulnerable given their form. Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz and others all fell by the wayside in what many felt was a great opportunity to make a semi final for a player outside the top 10.
Richard Gasquet (Player Profile) finally improved his horrible record in the round of 16 to 2-15 with a five set victory over Milos Raonic but as the 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(9) 7-5 scoreline suggests, it was anything but straight forward. Gasquet would have to save a match point on serve in the fourth set tiebreak to make it to a decider. After failing to convert countless break points on the Canadian’s serve midway through the fifth, he would finally do so at 5-5 although a couple of gifts from Raonic helped a long the way.
David Ferrer (Player Profile) can probably count himself lucky to be in this round given fourth round opponent Janko Tipsarevic served for the first three sets in their match up, blowing 30-0 and 40-0 leads in the sets that he did not take. However, he stuck in there and delivered the final blow in a fourth set tie break – the second of the match – taking it to complete a 7-6(2) 3-6 7-5 7-6(3).
Ferrer was still far from his best and dropping sets to the likes of Mikhail Kukushkin and Roberto Bautista-Agut suggest that he is not quite firing like last year but he still has an amazing chance to repeat his semi final appearance of last year. Sadly for Gasquet, Ferrer is an awful match up for him and this shows in their head to head record. The record stands at 8-1 (5-1 on outdoor hard) to the Spaniard, with the sole Gasquet win coming 5 years ago in Toronto.
It will be tough for Gasquet coming off a 4 hour+ match against an opponent he has always struggled against but Ferrer is at his most vulnerable for a long time and is definitely there for the taking – Tipsarevic failure to hold his nerve when serving for sets is essentially what cost him.
Prediction: Gasquet in 4