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Gasquet tames Roddick in thriller

  • Story Highlights
  • Richard Gasquet battles past Andy Roddick 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 8-6
  • He now faces Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals
  • Rafael Nadal beats Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets
  • Nadal will play Serb Novak Djokovic, conqueror of Marcus Baghdatis
  • Next Article in World Sport »
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WIMBLEDON, England -- Richard Gasquet tamed Andy Roddick's power game with some brilliant all-court tennis to upset the American number three seed 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 8-6 and reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time on Friday.

Gasquet's next test is a semifinal against Roger Federer

The Frenchman must now overcome world number one Roger Federer on the Centre Court on Saturday, to reach the final.

Rafael Nadal and Serb Novak Djokovic will do battle on Court One in the ohther semifinal.

Roddick looked to be cruising to a three-set victory in his quarterfinal when he went a break up in the third set.

But the 21-year-old Gasquet, seeded 12th, raised his game and played two commanding tiebreaks to get back in the match.

Gasquet, who had never before reached the last eight at a grand slam tournament, won the match when another crosscourt winner from the baseline set up two match points on Roddick's serve and the American netted on the first.

Roddick broke Gasquet's serve in the ninth game on his way to taking the first set comfortably and the American broke again in the fifth game of the second after a successful challenge to a line call against him on a second break point.

He also broke in the first game of the third set on a wide return by Gasquet but the Frenchman broke back in the eighth game.

Gasquet then showed what he might really be capable of with a bold display in the tiebreak. A neat chip set up set point, and he won it 7-2 to become the first man to take a set off the former U.S. Open champion in this tournament.

Gasquet's ascendancy carried into the fourth set and Roddick had to fend off two break points in the opening game as the Frenchman continued to give as good as he got from the back of the court and impose his net play.

The Frenchman moved Roddick from one side to the other with pinpoint crosscourt backhands then hit winners down the lines. The American regularly got stranded at the net and watched the ball pass him by.

With no breaks of service, the fourth set tiebreak was also dominated by Gasquet who settled it with a series of crosscourt forehand and backhand winners, taking a 6-1 lead and converting his third break point.

The match-deciding break of service came in the 13th game of the final set as the shadows began to lengthen and Gasquet finally overcame the former world number one and last American in the men's draw.

Second seed Rafael Nadal dispatched Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in straight sets to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon on Friday.

The French Open champion was never troubled after breezing through a first set tiebreak and wrapped up a 7-6 6-4 6-2 win in just over two hours on a blustery Centre Court.

Nadal will face Serbia's Novak Djokovic who won an epic struggle against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.

Djokovic battled through 7-6 7-6 6-7 4-6 7-5.

Roger Federer woke up after a sleepy spell to overcome Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 3-6 6-1 6-3 to move closer to a fifth successive title.

Nadal said:"It wasn't easy because the wind was unbelievably difficult.

"I had to concentrate hard on my movement as the ball was hard to hit and I think the wind made it difficult for him to serve."

The Spanish ace had survived five-set matches against Sweden's Robin Soderling and Mikhail Youzhny of Russia to reach the quarterfinals but found his seventh-seeded opponent an easier proposition.

Nadal broke Berdych's serve in the second game of the opening set but the Czech broke back immediately.

Nadal turned on the power in the first set tiebreak, going 5-0 up before winning it 7-1 to take the set in 58 minutes.

Berdych, who won the grass court warm-up tournament at Halle, appeared to lose confidence at that setback and was broken in the very first game of the second set.

The irrepressible Nadal duly took the second set and two further breaks in the third gave him an unassailable lead.

The tall Czech saved two match points but he succumbed on the third when he dumped a forehand into the net.

Nadal is bidding to become the first Spaniard to win at Wimbledon since Manuel Santana in 1966.

Federer stormed to a 5-2 lead in the first set but his Spanish opponent clawed back to 5-5 before play was abandoned on Thursday because of rain.

The world number one, whose last match was a week ago, squandered a set point in the 12th but made no such mistake in the tiebreak which he took 7-2 with an ace on the final point.

Some uncharacteristic forehand errors from the Swiss gave Ferrero a break in the eighth game of the next set and the former world number one took the set on his second set point when Federer's return went long.

It seemed to be the shock that the top seed needed and he launched a barrage of winners to take the third set in a 19 minutes.

Federer secured a break in the third game of the fourth set and in the end thumped a crosscourt forehand winner to extend his record of successive grand slam semifinal appearances to 13 and set up a meeting with either Andy Roddick or Richard Gasquet.

Baghdatis produced a remarkable comeback after losing the first two sets to Djokovic on tiebreaks, then trailing 3-0 in the third.

Djokovic looked exhausted in the fifth but stayed neck and neck with his Cypriot opponent and made the vital breakthrough at 5-5.

He then summoned all his energy to serve out the match and set up a reprise of his French Open semifinal against Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal, a match Nadal won on his way to the title. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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