The world’s top players were in action in the French Capital
What Happened Yesterday at the ATP Paris Masters:
Andy Murray Beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3
The British number one didn’t have everything his own way against the flair of the Frenchman as he made Murray tough it out in a match that lasted over 2 and a half hours. The Scot wasn’t helped by his first serve as his percentage was much lower than he would’ve liked and Gasquet was always able to get into Murray’s service games and make life difficult for him. The match started in a positive manner for the Brit as he broke the Frenchman’s serve in the opening game of the match.
Gasquet wasn’t about to let Murray dictate the pace as he duly broke back half way through the set to level the opener at 4-4 and was able to take the first set into a tie breaker. The Frenchman was unable to take the opener as Murray dug deep in the tiebreaker to prevail 9-7. Murray was having issues in his lower back in the second set as Gasquet took full advantage of and started outhitting the Wimbledon champion by hitting a series of fantastic passing shots, he broke Murray to go 4-2 up and from there the Frenchman duly levelled the match with an ace to take the match into a decider.
Gasquet was able to take the initiative again in the final set as he broke Murray to go 2-1 up in the final set, the Scot wasn’t about to go away quietly as he got the break back immediately. Murray now had all the momentum back in his favour and he broke the Frenchman again and saw out the match from there. Murray will now face Spaniard David Ferrer in the semi-finals and he will be feeling pretty confident as he beat his next opponent at the French Open this year in 4 sets.
David Ferrer Beats John Isner 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 6-2
Spain’s David Ferrer was in action against American’s John Isner who had stunned Switzerland’s Roger Federer in the previous round. The French Open finalist was in imperious form in the first set as he was getting plenty of Isner’s returns back and running him ragged throughout the opener. Ferrer broke Isner in the opening game and never looked back as Isner’s weapons were dampened by the Spaniards amazing retrieving skills and consistent groundstrokes. Before Isner knew it he was a set down and looking second best.
The second set was following a very similar fashion as again Isner was being stretched from side to side and was broken again midway through the set, the American was staring defeat in the face when he was 5-3 and double match point down. Isner didn’t throw in the towel as he dug in and rattled off a succession of winners to break Ferrer back and force a tiebreaker. The American now had the momentum and a seesaw tiebreaker saw him prevail 8-6 and with it he had levelled the match.
Isner had a stomach bug to contend with in the final set and it was hampering his movement and his first delivery, he called for the trainer and had to have a medical time out. Ferrer was ruthless in the final set as he took full advantage of Isner’s more consistent errors and reduced movement as the Spaniard sped through the set 6-2 to prevail. Ferrer will now play Britain’s Andy Murray for a place the final on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic Beats Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8)
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic managed to prevail in a close encounter with tricky Czech Tomas Berdych. In what was a very closely contested match in the world number one will have been very happy to get the job done without needing a third set. Djokovic was easing through the majority of his service games in the opening set while Berdych was always squeezing though his games but it didn’t appear to effect the Czech’s mentality.
The set went all the way to a tiebreaker but Berdych was unable to stay with the Serb as Djokovic prevailed 7-3 to take a first set lead. The second set was almost mirroring the opening set but Berdych was much improved and making life very difficult for Novak. The set went all the way to a tiebreaker again as both players held firm on serve to leave no player broken throughout the course of the match. The tiebreaker was a very competitive affair as both players were going for their shots and pushing each other from side to side.
Berdych was match point down and somehow hit a world class backhand winner to keep the breaker going and would continue to shock Djokovic with a couple more stunning winners off the backhand side.
Unfortunately for the Czech he couldn’t convert any of his set points as he went for broke and miss the target whenever he had the set in his sights. Djokovic would take the match from their and will have been very happy to advance to the semi-finals after getting through a very tough match. The Serbian will play Stanislas Wawrinka for a place in the final and he beat his next opponent 6-4 6-1 in their last match up.
Stanislas Wawrinka Beats Rafael Nadal 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (9-7)
There was certainly no shortage of tiebreakers in the quarter finals as Wawrinka and Nadal played out a very high octane match that had plenty of drama and a couple of shocking mistakes from both players. It was Nadal who started the match better as he broke Wawrinka by only putting the ball back into play as Wawrinka hit a lot of unforced errors in the first half of the set. The Swiss star was able to break back with Nadal serving for the set at 5-4 as his game was finally coming together and Nadal was contending with a barrage of well struck one handers from his opponent.
Both players held firm to take the opener into a tiebreaker and it was Nadal who managed to get his nose ahead first in the breaker, some critical mistakes in the breaker allowed Wawrinka back in the breaker and the pendulum finally swung the Swiss star’s way as he was able to edge the breaker 10-8 to leave Nadal hugely frustrated with the chances he wasn’t able to take advantage of. In the second set both players were going toe to toe with each other but it was Wawrinka’s game that was slightly more assured as he broke Nadal thanks to some perfectly measured forehands and booming backhands.
The Swiss star was serving for the match at 5-4 and at 30-15 up hit a forehand that caught the tape and then missed an elementary volley to give Nadal a route back into the match, the Spaniard took full advantage and Wawrinka will have been very irritated with himself for letting the match go from his grasp. There was some incredible shot making from both players in the match and the second set followed the first set another tiebreaker soon followed.
Another topsy turvy breaker saw Nadal with a set point opportunity on his favoured forehand, much to his frustration he went for the more low percentage flat forehand and missed the target. Wawrinka had a chance to serve out the match on his own terms now and he duly did that to prevail 9-7 in the breaker. The Swiss number two will now face Serbia’s Novak Djokovic for a place in the final and will know that he will have to play his best tennis if he is to stand any chance at getting past the world number one.