It’s a very important match in retrospect because separated careers of these two players. At the time of Federer’s four-year reign, Nadal was already established as the second best player in the world, Djokovic as the third, but there was a group of young players who were aspiring to join them. The 22-year-old Gasquet  collected better results than one year younger Murray . The Frenchman had already played a major semifinal and two Masters 1K finals while Murray hadn’t play a major quarterfinal and at Masters 1K the semifinal was his best result. Moreover Gasquet had won their first two matches rather decisively, so when the Frenchman grabbed the first two sets it seemed probable that Murray would lose the 4th round at majors for the fourth time, especially that prior to that encounter his physical endurance had been questioned a few times. Admittedly his 5-set record was decent (6-4), but five of those successful 5-setters lasted only around three hours. Murray had lost three consecutive 4-setters (with tighter 4th sets) at the time which lasted around three hours too; thus there was a clear indicator that when the match clock approaches the three hour mark and the things don’t go his way, Murray withers… In the opener Gasquet needed five set points to get his first break at 6:5. Murray did a lot to save several set points, all in vain, and it discouraged him – he quickly trailed *0:3 in the 2nd set. In the 3rd set Murray fended off a break point in his first game, five break points at 2-all. When the Frenchman got a break to lead 5:4 it seemed to be over – he had not lose his serve up to that moment. Murray was very aggressive in the 10th game, he created a triple break point capitalising on his third chance as Gasquet committed a double fault. The momentum shifted onto Murray’s side, the crowd was more engaged and the British player absorbed the positive energy thoroughly. He held in game no. 11 after a few deuces and raced to a *4:0 lead in the ensuing tie-break, winning it 7/3. Another two sets he had under full control, in the last set he wasted break points to lead 5:2 and finish at 5:3. He served out the match with powerful serves in fading lights (9:30 pm) and after almost 4 hours of beautiful contest he pointed his right biceps as the reason of his triumph (he’ll repeat this gesture winning a similar match against Melzer later that year at the US Open; 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 6-3 third round; which helps him to get his first major final). # For Murray it was the second (first at majors) of his ten 0-2 comebacks while Gasquet suffered the first of his six defeats leading 2-0. That ability to turn a Grand Slam match around and inability to close it out, certainly have left the marks on their careers in the aftermath of that Wimbledon thriller, and currently they’re close to retirements with completely different positions in tennis history. Using a metaphysical/shamanistic language, I think Murray stole Gasquet’s soul that evening in London, something similar Djokovic had done to Monfils three years earlier in New York.
# Comparison of Murray’s two 5-set wins over Gasquet:
Wimbledon ’08 (4R): Murray d. Gasquet 5-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4… 3 hours 58 minutes… Total points: 192-183
French Open ’10 (1R): Murray d. Gasquet 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1… 4 hours 4 minutes… Total points: 172-151
* Gasquet led 3:2 on serve in the 3rd set of Paris
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