2005 MONTE CARLO

QF     

    RAFAEL NADAL   v    RICHARD GASQUET

6-7, 6-4, 6-3      

 

 

 

 

Nadal won the battle of the 18-year-olds, beating French sensation Richard Gasquet on Saturday.

Eleventh seed Nadal, already having two clay titles this season, stormed back to end Gasquet's amazing run with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory in nearly three hours.

Earlier on a blustery day at the Country Club Argentine Coria came through a scrappy contest against twice former winner Juan Carlos Ferrero, winning 6-2, 7-5.

Nadal, two weeks older than Gasquet, is the first teenager to reach the final here since Andrei Medvedev in 1994 but he had to be at his tenacious best to beat the French qualifier who ended Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak the previous day.

Nadal served for the first set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Gasquet came up with some inspirational tennis, particularly off his lethal backhand, snatching a tight first set tiebreak 8-6.

Gasquet went ahead 2-0 in the second set before Nadal launched his comeback, taking the next five games to level.

Gasquet twice needed treatment from the trainer, the second time for leg cramps, but the stocky Frenchman continued to stretch Nadal, carving out four break points at 2-2 in the decider and another one at 3-3.

His failure to take those chances proved his downfall, however, the relentless Nadal breaking in the eighth game before clinching victory when Gasquet sent a backhand into the net.

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