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Tennis News • More Of The Same For Medvedev, Gasquet Turning Back The Clock In Cincinnati

By Ricky Dimon

The headlines haven’t been great at the Western & Southern Open. Rafael Nadal withdrew. Andy Murray lost right away and then announced he would not play the U.S. Open. Roger Federer lost his third-round match in straight sets. One of the men’s quarterfinals was not even played due to a Yoshihito Nishioka illness. Nick Kyrgios had another meltdown. Alexander Zverev double-faulted 20 times in a single match. Serena Williams pulled out. Naomi Osaka retired from her quarterfinal match due to injury.

But it hasn’t been all bad.

Daniil Medvedev, who used to be a Kyrgios kind of character but has toned it down and gotten down to business in recent seasons, has maintained his amazing form in Cincinnati. At this rate, it is looking like he may be the only person to challenge the Big 3 throughout the rest of 2019. Maybe. There’s no guarantee; after all, he just got blown out by Nadal in the Montreal final. But like I said: maybe.

Medvedev reached the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3 beatdown of fellow Russian Andrey Rublev on Friday evening. Rublev had upset Federer one day earlier.

The world No. 9 is joined in the last four by none other than Richard Gasquet, who has channeled his inner Lazarus to make a comeback from the dead. Okay, he wasn’t actually dead. But he was out for six months with an injury and I had basically forgotten he still played tennis.

But the Frenchman is reminding us of the talent that he has had throughout his up-and-down career. From out of nowhere, Gasquet is through to his first Masters 1000 semifinal since 2013 (Miami) after knocking off a red-hot Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2 on Friday afternoon.

“I know how tough it was to come back,” Gasquet reflected. “I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. Of course, it’s not easy to come back after six months out, but I’m here. I’m in semis tomorrow.”

 Next up for him is David Goffin, who got the walkover from Nishioka.

“It will be tough,” said Gasquet. “He’s a great player. He’s playing very fast. I need to recover now a little bit to be ready for tomorrow, because, as I said, he doesn’t miss. He’s playing fast, especially with the backhand. It will be a tough battle for me. It’s the semis. I have nothing to lose, so I try my best.”

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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