Rain interruption was crucial, says Gasquet
If it was not for a rain delay, Richard Gasquet said, he would not have made it to the last eight of his home grand slam for the first time in 13 attempts on Sunday.The Frenchman was 4-2 down in the opening set of his French Open fourth-round match against Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori, failing to cope with his opponent's rhythm on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"I think it was a very important time for me to stop because I was playing not good, I was playing far from the baseline and very slow," Gasquet told reporters.
After back-to-back defeats on clay against Nishikori in Rome and Madrid this season, Gasquet had to make changes.
"I knew that if I wanted to beat this guy, I needed to play very, very deep and very fast, because he's playing with big rhythm. If I'm playing short like I did in Rome and Madrid, I have no chance to win."
Gasquet's coach Sergi Bruguera made some loud points in the dressing-room during the rain interruption and the Frenchman came back fired up to win six games in a row and open a 6-4 2-0 lead.
After Italian Riccardo Piatti left him to guide Canadian Milos Raonic, Gasquet hired double French Open champion Sergi Bruguera as coach alongside fellow Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean.
"These guys have amazing experience, much more than coaches who have never played tennis. They can see how the game play is doing, they can see when my balls are too short or they can see when I'm playing too far, and they try and fine-tune that," said Gasquet.
"They see tennis. They know what it's about. That's what I really like about him. It's this huge experience. He's played the biggest games in the world, and you can't make that up."
Ninth seed Gasquet next faces world number two Andy Murray, who has beaten him in their four grand slam meetings, including coming back from two sets down in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2008.
"He's a huge fighter. He runs all over the place. You never get a free point. He has a very powerful mind," Gasquet said.
"When the point is important, he serves fast, he sends back, physically he's perfect."