Just when everyone thought that men’s top four seeds were slated to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon 2015 and justify the faith reposed in them by tournament organizers, Richard Gasquet tipped the applecart. The Frenchman held on tenaciously against the no.4 seeded Stan Wawrinka and forced the decider in their thrilling quarterfinal encounter. With no benefit of a tiebreak, the two unyielding men went on and on, until Wawrinka sent a backhand long on the final point of the 20th game. Gasquet dropped to the court on to his back in the amalgamated emotions of relief and pleasure. Then he got up quickly to shake hands with Wawrinka at the net. When the two players walked off the court, they were greeted to a huge cheer from fans, who steadfastly endured windy conditions to watch one of the best matches of the tournament. The five-set thriller lasted almost 3½ hours, far longer than the first three semifinals played earlier, each of which were decided in three straight sets. In the semifinal, Richard Gasquet will take on defending champion Novak Djokovic while the second semifinal will involve Andy Murray and Roger Federer. Roger Federer was the first man to reach the semifinals by beating no.12 seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon; Murray disposed of Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. After his marathon quarterfinal with Kevin Anderson, Djokovic looked fresh as he took on Marin Cilic of Croatia and defeated him in straight sets.
In last quarterfinal of the day, Stanislas Wawrinka faced Frenchman Richard Gasquet. The first three semifinals were already completed and the three top seeds; Djokovic, Federer and Murray had sealed their places in the semifinals. Going into the match against the newly crowned French Open champion Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet knew what lay in store for him. Just the other day, the Frenchman eked out a superb performance against Australia’s hot-headed 20-year old Nick Kyrgios that should have boosted his confidence. Gasquet had a good beginning in the match as he prevailed over Wawrinka 6-4 in the first set. But Wawrinka roared back to take the next two sets fairly comfortably. In a match that saw top-class shot-making from both players, Gasquet leveled things up by taking the fourth set. Now everything rested on the final set.
Gasquet was the first to break in the eighth game of the final set to lead 5-3 and with his service coming up; it looked the end of Wawrinka at Wimbledon. But the no.4 seed broke back with great net-play and made it 4-5, when Gasquet slammed a backhand into the net on break point. Then Wawrinka held his serve and the game became very compelling. A battle of backhands was peppered with great serves, brave shots that hugged the lines and their attempts of dashing to the net. In the 11th game, Gasquet fell behind by 0-30 but managed to finish in the 6-5 lead, when Wawrinka sent a backhand wide. At 9-9, Wawrinka had a break point with a backhand passing shot but he muffed up by returning Gasquet’s service into the net. With Gasquet leading 10-9 on Wawrinka’ service in the 20th game, the Swiss lost three points to fall behind 0-40. Now Gasquet held three match points, of which Wawrinka saved two. On the third, however, Wawrinka sent a backhand too long to give the Frenchman a hard-earned entry into his second semifinals after a gap of 8 years.
Earlier, Federer was the first man to reach the semifinals after beating Gilles Simon 6–3, 7–5, 6–2. Federer produced 36 winners and 11 aces on his way to his 10th Wimbledon semifinal. Federer will take on no.3 seed Andy Murray, who was clinical in his 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. In the only other quarterfinal, defending champion Novak Djokovic prevailed over Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 breaking his opponent once in every set. For his claim to the final, Djokovic will take on Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
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