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Wimbledon: Richard Gasquet Outlasts Stan Wawrinka, Faces Novak Djokovic in Semifinal

LONDON—Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals where he will meet Richard Gasquet, who defeated fourth seed and French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the best gentleman’s singles match at 2015 Wimbledon.

The match played right down the middle. At one point, Gasquet appeared on the verge of a victory and then a split second later Wawrinka charged in to change the audience’s mind.

But the Frenchman finally won after three hours and 28 minutes. The third set lasted 84 minutes! Gasquet served for the match, but he could not pull through or break Wawrinka again. 6-6. Then 7-7. The milky sky slowly swallowed the sun as Gasquet and Wawrinka fought on. The men refused to relent.

Until 9-9. Gasquet goes up 10-9. Then Wawrinka’s serve collapses and next thing the world knew Gasquet held three break points.

40-15

Still a chance.

40-30

Groans.

Game. Set. Match.

“It was quite the same match, of course,” said Gasquet when asked how it compared to their fifth set match at the French Open, adding:

On his side, it was a tiny one, he won. It’s a revenge for me a little bit.But it was a tough match. He’s serving great. He’s a big fighter. He’s playing very, very good. He has a lot of confidence.Of course, it’s great to win, come back here in semis eight years later. After 2007, it’s a long time.

For the first time since 2007, Gasquet plays in the Wimbledon semifinals. He won titles at Montpellier and Estoril this year.

But another huge obstacle stands in Gasquet’s way of the beloved Wimbledon final. Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic’s match against US Open champion Marin Čilič was a breeze compared to his fourth round match against Kevin Anderson. With a clean and precise game, Djokovic showed the world why he is number one and the favorite to win the tournament. It is also his sixth straight trip into the semifinals.

The Serb protected his precious serve. He never once faced a break point, but broke the Croatian three times. While Čilič hit eight aces, Djokovic hit the majority of his first serves and won 79% of his first serve points. Čilič also committed 20 unforced errors, which came back to bite him since they were all on the return.

“Very solid, as you said,” he responded when asked about his performance. “I managed to make three decisive crucial breaks in each set. I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court, tried to get as many returns back in play.”

He continued: “I didn’t allow Marin to come back to the match. It was a close game when I was serving for the set. I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards.”

Djokovic hopes to win his tenth title this year. No matter what happens in the semifinal and final, he will retain his number-one ranking.

The men meet on Friday at Centre Court.

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