Monte Carlo Open: Gasquet beats Federer

World number one Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak was broken at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Monaco:World number one Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak was broken at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday when French teenager Richard Gasquet stormed to a dramatic 6-7 6-2 7-6 victory in the quarter-finals. The 18-year-old qualifier ripped a backhand winner down the line on his third match point to win a tension-filled third set tiebreak 10-8 after two hours 18 minutes of tennis. Federer has been virtually untouchable at the top of men's tennis this year, racking up five titles, but he was de-railed in spectacular fashion after wasting three match points of his own in the tiebreak. Gasquet bounced back from losing the first set against a below-par Federer, dominating the second with some free-flowing winners and sublime touch around the net. Roared on by the crowd, he moved into a 5-3 lead in the decider only for his nerve to fail him. Standing at match point, Gasquet opened up the court perfectly, but swiped a volley way beyond the baseline. In the next game he carved out another match point on the Federer serve, but the Swiss showed his trademark cool to put away an overhead. As the match moved into a tiebreak Gasquet's chance looked to have disappeared, but this time Federer was found wanting, twice finding the tramlines on match points, while Gasquet saved another with a huge serve. Finally when his chance came again, Gasquet made no mistake, whistling a backhand down the line past a stranded Federer. "I played really well. I have no words to describe my joy today," a smiling Gasquet said. Defeat brought Federer a sad reminder from a similar failure at the start of the season. "Unfortunately, I came extremely close again, you know, like in the Australian Open I had a match point. I also had match point today. You end up losing, it's tough you know, the Swiss said. Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero maintained his quest for a third Monte Carlo title with a confident 6-2 6-3 quarter-final defeat of Italian Filippo Volandri. The Spaniard, a former world number one, will take on champion Guillermo Coria after the sixth-seeded Argentine's 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory over Spain's David Ferrer. Another Spaniard, 18-year-old Rafael Nadal took out French Open champion Gaston Gaudio 6-3 6-0 to set a semifinal against fellow 18 year-old Gasquet after the Frenchman eliminated Federer. (AP)

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