Tennis-Gasquet blunts Raonic serve to reach quarters

NEW YORK, Sept 2 Tue Sep 3, 2013 4:50am BST

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NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Frenchman Richard Gasquet survived a barrage of heavy shots from Canada's Milos Raonic before booking a spot in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Monday.

Raonic thumped 39 aces past Gasquet but the eighth-seed waited patiently before seizing his opportunities, winning 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(9) 7-5 after an exhausting slugfest that lasted four hours and 40 minutes.

Raonic also hit a staggering total of 102 winners but paid the price for coughing up unforced errors, more than twice as many as Gasquet.

The 27-year-old Frenchman has been a consistent performer on the professional circuit since 2002 but this was just the second time he made it to a grand slam quarter-final.

The only other occasion was when he made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007.

His opponent in the next round is Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, who advanced after a hard-fought 7-6(2) 3-6 7-5 7-6(3) win over Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

For Raonic, a 22-year-old moving quickly up the rankings, it was a bitter loss as he was on the verge of becoming the first Canadian man to reach the singles quarter-finals of a grand slam since Mike Belkin at the Australian Open in 1968. (Reporting by Julian Linden; editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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