Continued from page 1

But after evening the match at two sets apiece, it was Ferrer who faltered down the stretch. Ferrer, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in July, played a loose game while down 3-2 in the fifth, including a double-fault on break point.

“I played, I believe, very bad in that game,” said Ferrer, who had been 8-1 against Gasquet. “I lost, a little bit, my focus in that moment.”

Gasquet will now face No. 2 Nadal, a 12-time major champion, or No. 19 Tommy Robredo, who upset Roger Federer in the fourth round. Nadal was to face Robredo in Wednesday night’s last match.

Gasquet is 2-2 against Robredo, and 0-10 against Nadal.

“Last time I beat him, I was 13,” Gasquet said, referring to a junior match he’s seen video of on YouTube. “It was a long time ago.”

Pennetta and Vinci have known each other, and played against each other, since they were about 10.

“We spent so much time together,” Pennetta said.

She was convinced that relationship influenced the outcome Wednesday. In sum, Pennetta explained, she handled the circumstances better than Vinci, if only barely.

“In the beginning, we didn’t play good tennis. I was tight. She was tight,” Pennetta said. “When I won the first set, I just (relaxed) a little bit and tried to play better. But the day was tough for both of us.”

Truth is, Vinci did not play well, accumulating twice as many unforced errors, 28, as winners, 14.

She stuck to her usual strategy, which involves plenty of rushing the net, but she won only 18 of 34 points when she moved forward.

Vinci is that rare top player in women’s tennis who tries to volley frequently.

“This my kind of tennis. I cannot play (a) different style. I’m happy that I’m different,” Vinci said, using her fingers to make air quotes as she said the final word.

Later, she explained: “Even if I was making errors, I needed to try to play my game.”

Given their long history on and off the court, Pennetta said, “I know how she plays.”

Story Continues →