nice10gasquet_verdasco

…Verdasco 5/9 (6) in break points…

Points won by each set: [ 31-25, 33-39, 45-45 ]
Points won directly on serve:
21 % Gasquet – 26 of 120
15 % Verdasco – 15 of 98

Arguably the most dramatic “best of three” final of 2010. Gasquet [68] was broken at love serving to win the title at 5:4 in the 2nd set, and he lost six straight games quickly, having visible problems with his legs. He needed a treatment (rubbing ointment to the thighs) and it seemed impossible he’d win the final. However, at 0:3 in the 3rd set he played a perfect game hitting 4 winners in a row to come back to the match. Nevertheless, a good tactician could extend the rallies to wear him down, perhaps forcing a retirement. Not an impatient head-case like Verdasco [9] though, who had many chances to win the final anyway. He wasted three mini-match points at 4:1 (the first Gasquet saved with an incredible backhand), was broken at love serving at 5:3, was several times two points away at 6:5, and led 5:4* in the deciding tie-break when Gasquet struck two volley winners. On the first match point the Spaniard sent wide a relatively easy forehand for himself. “I am exhausted but it was worth it. I had to go all the way. I was close to losing this match. It is destiny. I was meant to win this final.” said Gasquet, who ended a three-year title drought and a 5-match losing streak to Verdasco; a week earlier he’d won a Challenger event in Bordeaux. The Gasquet-Verdasco rivalry is really peculiar. It was the second time that Gasquet could beat Verdasco in straight sets, but did it being two points away from defeat in the 3rd set (in both cases they gathered the same amount of points). It’s more bizarre that in Nice similar first two sets between them happened for the third time (!), yet in the middle case (Canadian Open in Montreal) Verdasco was able to survive the decider. They will play one more reminiscence in Paris 2013! #

Gasquet’s route to his 6th title:
1 Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-0
2 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-0, 2-6, 6-3
Q Olivier Rochus 6-4, 6-2
S Potito Starace 7-6(1), 7-6(6)
W Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5)

# Comparison of their four dramatic matches with similar patterns (all in French speaking cities):
MC ’07 (1R): Gasquet d. Verdasco 7-5, 6-7(12), 7-6(5)… 3 hours 20 minutes… Total points: 138-138… Gasquet had 5 MPs in 2nd set
CO ’07 (2R): Verdasco d. Gasquet 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4… 2 hours 23 minutes… Total points: 92-106… Gasquet had 2 MPs in 2nd set
Nice ’10 (F): Gasquet d. Verdasco 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5)… 2 hours 37 minutes… Total points: 109-109… Gasquet 4 pts away on serve in 2nd set
Paris ’13 (2R): Gasquet d. Verdasco 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-3… 2 hours 41 minutes… Total points: 127-111… Gasquet had 2 MPs in 2nd set

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