LONDON – Richard Gasquet and Nick Kyrgios secured a spot in the fourth round with their hard fought victories over higher seed players. Stan Wawrinka and David Goffin also advanced in straight sets.
Gasquet played a brilliant game against 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov on Centre Court. He only faced five break points, but managed to secure his save each time. He broke Dimitrov three out of four times. The first set appears close, but from the very beginning anyone could see it was Gasquet’s match to lose.
“I’m really happy with the way I played, especially to win on Centre Court,” exclaimed Gasquet. “My first time I’m winning on that court, so it’s a great feeling for me. To win in three sets against Dimitrov, it’s a big match.”
The Frenchman moved better, responded perfectly when Dimitrov grew closer. His backhand is one of the best in the game and it drove Dimitrov nuts. Dimitrov just could not capitalize on any of Gasquet’s few mistakes.
“I just didn’t play good,” said Dimitrov. “That’s just how it is. I had too many opportunities early on in the first set to get back the break. Then I think second set was also pretty close. I had chances. You know, once you miss those opportunities, especially on grass…
“I mean, he was playing good tennis today as well. Once you miss those opportunities, it’s really tough to come back.”
Kyrgios toppled seven seed Milos Raonic in a nail biting match. The first three sets were incredibly close. When two really good players meet the serve becomes even more important. Neither player would give up their serve, but Raonic edged Kyrgios with that important break in the first set, which saved a tiebreak.
However, Kyrgios shot right back and received the valuable break to win the second set. His serve became more impressive with nine aces and no double faults. The third set was dead even until they reached the tiebreak. Raonic ran out of steam as Kyrgios ran over him with 11 aces. Kyrgios owned the fourth set 6-3 with a break and seven aces.
“You know, on grass, it’s a bit of a risk to go for a big second serve. Most of the time it does pay off,” he said. “The guys don’t expect you to go big. I thought we both sort of felt the pressure a little bit from the serving standpoint. He started double‑faulting a little bit also. I thought that was a result of me chipping and making a lot of returns.
“We served well. But I thought I just maybe made a bit more of an impression on the return games.”
Gasquet and Kyrgios play each other in the next round. Kyrgios won when they met last year.
“Serving is key,” Kyrgios explained when asked about the match. “He’s going to make a lot more returns. He’s going to obviously play solid from the ground. He’s a magician from back there. I’m going to have to play the same type of tennis. I’m not going to change anything.”
Serve is the same answer Gasquet gave the press.
“Most important is return of serve,” he said. “He has one of the best serves in the world. He has a big forehand. He’s a tough opponent because he has such a great serve. And to return him on grass, it’s very difficult. That’s why he’s one of the best players on this court.
“He won Raonic today. I didn’t see the match, but I imagine he played and served incredible.”
Goffin, the 16 seed, dominated Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets. He served well, forced Baghdatis to run for his life, and played the net with precision.
“It was a good match against Marcos,” he told the press. “I have been really aggressive today. I didn’t let him play, and I served really well, also. Not the first game, but after it was better.”
French Open champion Stan Wawrinka is currently breezing through Wimbledon. The fourth seed won all three rounds without dropping a set. He defeated Fernando Verdasco in under two hours without losing his serve and slamming home 14 aces.
“Playing better and better,” he said when a reporter asked him what is working for him. “Serving really well since the beginning of the tournament, being really aggressive. Start to feel more comfortable for moving and in defense also. No, today was really solid match. I’m really happy with the match today.”
Goffin and Wawrinka face off on Monday. Wawrinka is 2-0 all time against the Belgian.