The semifinals began to take shape at the 2013 U.S. Open in Wednesday's early action. Richard Gasquet and Flavia Pennetta triumphed and will now wait for Wednesday night's evening action to see who their next opponent will be.
After weather has not been completely cooperative at Flushing Meadows, Day 10 was perfect for tennis. Pennetta got the singles action underway with a comfortable win over Roberta Vinci. Then Gasquet and David Ferrer locked themselves in a five-set thriller.
Check out the singles results from Day 10 below, and the full results at USOpen.org, and then I'll recap the two early quarterfinal contests.
Richard Gasquet Pushes Career to New Heights
After suffering an impressive string of setbacks in the fourth round of majors, Frenchman Richard Gasquet seized his opportunity in the quarterfinals by besting the ultra-consistent David Ferrer in a five-set, back-and-forth contest.
The eighth-seeded Gasquet got off to a strong start, suffered a letdown and then held it together at the end to earn a 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 win over the tournament's fourth seed.
Now, Gasquet will move on to face the winner of Wednesday night's match between Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo. This will be just the second semifinal major of Gasquet's career. His previous semifinal came at Wimbledon in 2007, when he lost to Roger Federer.
This win followed Gasquet's five-set triumph over No. 10 Milos Raonic. And these two wins mark a new resolve in Gasquet.
After his last two wins, Gasquet is 7-12 in matches that come down to a winner-take-all set.
That sub-.500 record added to the perception that Gasquet would be doomed on Wednesday after winning the first two sets against Ferrer only to drop the next two. Ferrer has been superb when his matches go the distance—prior to Wednesday's loss he was 19-10.
Using his one-handed backhand to perfection, Gasquet kept Ferrer scrambling. This paid off for him in the fifth set. Gasquet was the more aggressive and crisper player in the final set as it became apparent that Ferrer was spent.
Gasquet now has a chance to start fulfilling some of the massive potential he flashed when turning pro as a teenager.
Flavia Pennetta Takes All-Italian Quarterfinal
After a rather reserved start by both players—the contest began with two breaks—Flavia Pennetta took complete control of her match against friend and compatriot Roberta Vinci. Pennetta advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory.
It took Pennetta just 65 minutes to complete this match and reach her first ever semifinal in a major.
This was Pennetta's second Italian victim in this U.S. Open, as she beat No. 4 Sara Errani earlier in the tournament.
Pennetta's deep run at this U.S. Open has seemingly come out of nowhere. The 31-year-old is coming off of wrist surgery from last year, and she is just 16-17 in singles play in 2013.
Pennetta is currently ranked 83rd in the world, but she played far better than that ranking suggests. She was consistently drilling her spots and keeping 10th-seeded Vinci on the defensive.
As a result, Vinci was never able to get into a rhythm and suffered 28 unforced errors, per Evan Hilbert of CBS Sports.
Pennetta will now take on the winner of Wednesday night's match between Daniela Hantuchova and Victoria Azarenka. Pennetta's semifinal is scheduled for Friday.