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Hot Shot: Gasquet rifles Federer's overhead for down-the-line backhand winner
Things didn't quite go Richard's way against the 20-time major champ, but he didn't leave any of his signature shots in the bag.
Published Jul 01, 2021
Richard Gasquet had his opportunities in his second-round matchup with Roger Federer on Thursday at the All England Club. The Frenchman was just one game away from taking the opening set, but his sporadic play left him just short. It wasn't his day, ultimately, but he sure did entertain the Centre Court crowd.
Early in the second set, the two played a beautiful point, trading hard-hitting strokes and volleys before Federer backpedaled to line up for a deep overhead near the baseline. After lighting up a smashing shot to Gasquet's backhand side, the world No. 56 swiftly squared up for a backhand. Closing his shoulders, keeping his head down and with his racquet take back shortened—he powered off a 102 m.p.h, jaw-dropping down-the-line winner.
The stands oohed and aahed following the unbelievable point, and Gasquet reacted by taking a pause, lifting his arms in the air to take in the sweet moment. The backhand drive gave him a 40-0 lead in his service game, but his inconsistent play struck again as he lost the following five consecutive points to get broken.
"He's got the most wonderful backhand and after he ripped that backhand down the line, I thought that maybe If could do something similar, I would be happy with it. He inspired me on that shot," Federer said in his on-court interview.
After his 7-6 (1), 6-1, 6-4 win, Federer will take on Britain's Cameron Norrie in the third round.