– With his epic win over #11 Milos Raonic ( he even saved 1 MP, winning 7-5 in the fifth), the talented frenchman Richard Gasquet finally broke his curse of not progressing further than R4 in any Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2007 [ till yesterday he had a 1-14 record on GS R4’s].
Some of that losses were totally justified ( Murray, Djokovic, Ferrer have defeated him while being Top-5), there were others where had a 50% or near chance ( Tsonga, Hewitt), and there were others where he simply crumbled under pressure vs inferior opponents ( F.Mayer, Ginepri…). Before his major breakthrough in Wimbledon ( defeated #110 Tsonga on R4 and #3 Roddick on an epic match in the QF’s), he had already lost in 4 GS R4’s, and since Wimbledon he went on to lose 10 more in 6 years. There’s no doubt that since the middle of 2011 Richard has turned into a more solid and phisically fitter player, and that has helped him on GS, where it’s really hard to see him lose before R4 [ he’s reached R4 in 9 of his last 11 majors, with just two losses before R4, vs Karlovic in USO R2 11′ and vs Tomic on Wimbledon R3 13′]. We’ll analise his stastics on GS play, focusing on R4’s:
Number of appearances: 10 ( 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
Best Result: R4 [ 2007 ( lost to Robredo in 4 sets), 2008 ( lost to Tsonga in 4 sets), 2012 ( lost to Ferrer in 3 sets ) & 2013 ( lost to Tsonga in 4 sets) ].
Best Ranked Win: #9 Tipsarevic on 2012 R3.
Number of appearances: 10 ( 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
Best Result: R4 [ 2011 ( lost to Djokovic in 3 sets), 2012 ( lost to Murray in 4 sets), 2013 ( lost to Wawrinka in 5 sets after winning the two 1st sets).
Best Ranked Win: #25 Bellucci on 2011 R3.
Number of appearances: 8 ( 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013).
Best Result: SF [ 2007 ( lost to Federer in 3 sets) ] + 4 R4’s [ 2005 ( lost to Nalbandian in 3 sets), 2008 ( lost to Murray in 5 sets after winning the first two), 2011 ( lost to Murray in 3 sets), 2012 ( lost to Florian Mayer in 4 sets)].
Best Ranked Win: #3 Roddick on 2007 QF.
Number of appearances: 9 ( 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
W/L: 18-8 ( 2013 edition still on course).
Best Result: QF [ 2013 ( still on course ; he plays today the QF’s vs Ferrer)] + 4 R4’s [ 2005 ( lost to Ginepri in 5 sets), 2006 ( lost to Hewitt in 5 sets), 2010 ( lost to Monfils in 4 sets), 2012 ( lost to Ferrer in 3 sets).
Best Ranked Win: #6 Davydenko on 2010 R2.
So, judging by the numbers, we can conclude that Wimbledon is his best Slam ( though if he wins today vs Ferrer, the USO numbers would look quite similar), and Roland Garros his worst ( though he’s getting better year after year, he should have maked the QF this year).
And finally, I would like to say good luck to Richard vs Ferrer ; after all those years where he couldn’t reach the latter stages of Slams I think this win vs Raonic can help him to get more confident on big matches ; where he’s lacked many times confidence to finish off matches.
PS: With this win he has set himself in a good position to end the season in the Top-10 ( he’s currently #10, 155 pts. away from #8 Wawrinka, and with a 300 pts. lead over #11 Raonic ).