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France’s Gasquet reaches first Cincinnati semi final

CINCINNATI:     France’s Richard Gasquet captured his first ATP Masters Series quarter-final victory in six years on Friday, defeating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-2 at Cincinnati.
The 33-year-old Frenchman had not won at this stage of so highly rated an event since 2013 at Miami, having dropped his past seven ATP Masters quarter-finals.
Gasquet will play for a spot in the final against Belgian 16th seed David Goffin, who advanced by walkover against Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, who could not take the court due to illness.
Gasquet earned revenge for a loss he took to Bautista Agut last week in Montreal, with the Spaniard having won four of their five previous encounters.
But the Frenchman, who underwent groin hernia surgery in January, came good at his 13th appearance in Cincinnati. “It was a great win beating Roberto,” Gasquet said.
“I had to stop six months at the start of this year. I was a little scared to come back to the tour, but I’’m happy to be here fighting. I don’’t have so many more years left to play. “It’’s crazy for me to reach my first (Cincinnati) semi-final at this age.
“Gasquet dominated the first-set tiebreaker but was broken in the third game of the second set as his rival seized the momentum. But the Frenchman raced to a 4-1 lead in the final set, firing a crosscourt winner for two match points.
He concluded by sending over a winning backhand off a net cord bounce to clinch his 15th match victory of the year in two and a quarter hours. “My energy was a bit low after the second set,” Gasquet said. “I just had to fight as much as I could. I beat him with focus and playing with offense.

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