ao09gonzalez_gasquet

ao09gonzalez_gasquet

Points won by each set: [ 19-28, 27-32, 49-45, 29-15, 67-71 ]
Points won directly on serve:
26 % Gonzalez – 54 of 203… 20 % Gasquet – 36 of 179
Winners by percentage:
41 % Gonzalez – 80 of 191… 42 % Gasquet – 82 of 191

Gonzalez [14] and Gasquet [25] spent ten years on the tour together, but met only once, and what a match it was! The Australian Open ’09 instant classic (the most memorable match of the event along with the Nadal-Verdasco’s SF). Already on paper it looked interesting – the biggest forehand against the biggest one-handed backhand. The officials decided to put the match on Margaret Court Arena at night session. Only 20 degress, the stands full of crazy French-Chilean fans, the thrilling atmosphere caused Gasquet being more animated than usually. In the first two sets the level of his tennis was outstanding – winners all over the place. Perhaps it made him excessively confident, and he began the 3rd set committing two consecutive double faults. Lost his serve for the first time and the things got complicated. Admittedly he improved from *1:3 to 4:3, but his body language during those three games didn’t look optimistic, it looked like cramps after only 1.5 hours of play! Trailing 4:5* (30/40) he fought off a set point with one of the most amazing forehands in his career. In the tie-break he saved a double set point to have his only match point leading 7:6 on Gonzalez’s second serve – the Frenchman risked backhand return, but the ball hit the netcord and stayed on his side – it could be a winner down the line. The Chilean converted his 7th set point with a backhand volley winner. At 3:2* for him in the 4th set Gasquet decided to finally take medical time-out because felt pain in right shoulder! Cramps and the shoulder problem seemed to be decisive for the final outcome. He looked miserably in the last three games of the set, but Gonzalez was running like crazy for four sets and it cost him blisters on left foot. Instead of one-sided decider, the spectators enjoyed almost 1.5h set with only one break of serve which is stunning if have taken into account that neither of them has been a big server. Gasquet was optically better in the final set, he held many times at ‘love’ and created break point chances in as many as four games, three of them meant mini-match points: at 4-all (15/40) Gonzalez saved break points with service & forehand winners, at 7-all another break point when Gasquet netted his forehand, and at 10-all with a forehand inside-out winner in a 3-stroke rally. Gasquet had a point for 11-all after saving Gonzalez’s first match point with a risky forehand, but the inspired Chilean hit three straight winners – forehand, BH-lob, BH down the line to finish the memorable contest after 4 hours 9 minutes… Ten years later it’s still a match of record books – the longest tie-break won in 3rd set by the winner of the match who trailed 0-2 in sets #

# Three comebacks from 0-2 deficits with the longest 3rd set tie-breaks:
French Open 1986 (3R): Leconte d. Motta 1-6, 3-6, 7-6(10), 6-0, 6-0 – 2 m.p.
Brussels 1992 (final): Becker d. Courier 6-7, 2-6, 7-6(10), 7-6, 7-5 – 3 m.p.
Aus Open 2009 (3R): Gonzalez d. Gasquet 3-6, 3-6, 7-6(10), 6-2, 12-10 – 1 m.p.

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