On Wednesday in Paris, No. 2-seed Andy Murray will face No. 9-seed Richard Gasquet in the French Open quarterfinals. Murray leads their head-to-head 7-3, having won the last four matches. The challenge for Murray will be the complete change of style he faces in Gasquet compared to his last two opponents, Ivo Karlovic and John Isner. Gasquet is better than those two players from the backcourt and has the balance of forehand and backhand that could really test Murray's patience and consistency. Gasquet also hits with much more spin and angle, which will have an effect if the conditions remain heavy.
Murray has the bigger serve and a long reach that along with his speed gives him great court coverage. He hits a flatter ball that works well in faster conditions but may get bogged down if the conditions continue to be damp and cold. Murray has more positive big match experience in Paris than Gasquet, but the Frenchman will have the support and pressure of the French crowd on his side. Murray is the known entity in this matchup—you know he'll play solid and steady. The real question mark is Gasquet, who is a gifted shot maker but can go off at times. If Gasquet plays up to his potential he has a real chance to upset Murray.
Gasquet French Open highlights:
• Effective serving: 63% 1st serves in, 73% 1st serves won, very strong 60% 2nd serves won
• Solid forehand, even better backhand: 40 forehand winners, 52 backhand winners, more winners than unforced from both sides
• Dropped just one set in 4 matches, just over 9 hours on court
• Solid return game: 38% won returning 1st serves is very good - broke serve 23 of 58 games (40%)
Murray French Open highlights:
• Solid 1st serve: 64% in play, 76% 1st serves won, 34 aces, 131 mph top speed
• Strong return game, especially against 2nd serves (55% won), only 25% return games won
• Strong forehand and backhand: 51 forehand winners, 40 backhand winners
• Dropped 4 sets (all sets lost in the first two rounds) and almost 12 hours on court
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