Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet renew old rivalry in Miami

Last Updated: 30/03/13 12:54am

  • Share:
Richard Gasquet: Set to test Andy Murray in Miami

Richard Gasquet: Set to test Andy Murray in Miami

Sky Bet

Andy Murray renews his old rivalry with Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals of the Miami Masters tonight.

The pair know each other well, having come through the junior ranks together and on the senior tour they have met seven times, Murray currently edging the head-to-head record 4-3.

Gasquet, the eighth seed, has knocked out Olivier Rochus, Mikhail Youzhny, Nicolas Alamagro and Tomas Berdych - who beat him at Indian Wells - to set up a crack at Murray in the semis (tonight from 11pm).

The Frenchman is in the form of his life with all the signs that he is finally beginning to deliver on the talent that, when he was a teenager, saw him tipped as a future world No 1.

He has won two titles already this season, in Doha and Montpellier, and although Gasquet concedes Murray is very much the favourite, he fancies his chances.

He told the ATP website: "Murray can do everything on the tennis court. He's very clever. He's an unbelievable player - but I know his game. I think we played a lot of times already in the past, but for sure he will be the favorite. I have nothing to lose and I will try to play a good match."

Two of Murray's four wins over Gasquet were in memorably dramatic circumstances.

Gasquet won their first two encounters, in 2006 and 2007, but Murray came back from two sets down to beat him in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2008.

Escape

The following year Murray did exactly the same at the French Open, pulling off another five-set escape act in the first round in Paris.

In 2011 Murray hammered him in straight sets at Wimbledon but then lost on the clay in Rome in 2012.

Their last meeting was also last year, again at the French Open and Murray, after losing the first set, won in four in the fourth round.

Just over a decade ago, Gasquet was the darling of French tennis and seemed to have the world at his feet.

In 2002, at the age of 15, he became the youngest player to qualify for a Masters tournament, and the second youngest to play in the French Open - taking a set off the eventual champion Alberto Costa in the first round.

He was the undisputed world No 1 junior, and in 2003 he became the youngest player to finish the season in the top 100 in the world.

And since then - nothing much. Injuries have taken their toll over the years but so too perhaps has the weight of French expectation, which was huge.

Now fully fit and focused, Gasquet is enjoying his tennis, and the last few years have seen him climb on average 10 places in the rankings per annum to his current place at No 10.

He has always been one of the most talented players on the tour - indeed ask the top players whose shot they would most like to have, Gasquet's magnificent one-handed backhand is often mentioned as on a par with Roger Federer's.

Traditionally Gasquet has been viewed as a defensive player, stationed deep behind the baseline, but in the last year he has been much more aggressive, which may help explain his rise up the rankings.

When he is in form - and he is - Gasquet is one of those players the top four want to avoid and his clash with Murray could well see another tense thriller.

  • Share:

Related

ATP Sony Open 2013

Murray: won a dramatic Miami Masters final against Ferrer

Ready for the dirt

Andy Murray is well set for the clay court season after his dramatic Miami Masters win, says Barry Cowan.

Andy Murray: Up to second in the world rankings following win over David Ferrer

Murray the master in Miami

Andy Murray moved up to second in the world rankings after beating David Ferrer to win the Sony Open title in Miami.

Andy Murray and David Ferrer meet in the final of the ATP Sony Open

Murray eyes Miami high

Andy Murray will be aiming for number two in the world rankings when he takes on David Ferrer in the Sony Open final.

Most Popular

Features

Back to his best

Back to his best

Novak Djokovic is in superb form at the US Open, says Greg Rusedski, and his serve has become key.

US Open order of play

US Open order of play

The latest order of play for the 2014 US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York City.

Super Statesmen

Super Statesmen

Mac, Andre and “Pistol” Pete… Mark Petchey names his favourite US tennis players of all time.