Analysis of the Gasquet - Wawrinka match?

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I saw this great match since the middle of the second sets but somehow I struggle to make sense of it, and I'm looking for an analysis of it. I'm not looking for a description of what happened like the media do (Stan played a bad 1st set, Gasquet double-faulted in the 2nd, etc.), but more of what worked well for each other, how the grass affected their match-up, etc.

In my view, Stan was the favorite because he has simply reached a top level of play. I was worried before Wimbledon than the grass wouldn't allow him to set up his huge shots and that he would spray errors, but it didn't really happened. I thought he would serve very well, return badly, play well from the baseline and attack the net when in good position. It's what he did, yet he lost.

Do you have more detailed/intelligent views on what happened in this match? In general, I think it would be interesting to have often some thread of analysis of matches.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
I don't know if this qualifies as an intelligent analysis but Wawrinka, for me, came into Wimbledon as one of the players likely to play a QF. Nothing more. Yesterday he had a big opportunity to win in 3, but only he can answer what happened in the 1st.

We have had the discussion about Stan on grass before, I believe. His game is just not suited to the bounce and timing required for his swing. His whole style is better suited to a more languid, if I can use that word for it, application of violence. Grass presents him with a deficit of time to apply that signature brute force.
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
two things... Gasquet sliced his BH a lot to keep the ball very low, Wawrinka is better at hitting winners on high balls (or medium high)
and also Wawrinka is not good at hitting big returns on first serves, instead he goes for sliced returns (as said above by Russelljones it's because of time deficit- his swing requires time, much like Soderling, Monfils, or even Nadal in the recent years) however on clay you could see Wawrinka returning second serve very far from his baseline - on grass he can't do that, too dangerous on a fast surface
 

OTMPut

Hall of Fame
He still hit 70+ winners though. A lot more than Gasquet.

I think he was overconfident. He thought he had it before it started it and sort of waited for Gasquet to give up and go away. Gasquet woke up on the wrong side and hung in there as if his life depended in it.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Thank you for your inputs. Maybe grass negated Stan's main advantage, which is his ability to hit with a lot of power from both wings, and also serve well even on slower, bouncier surfaces. Therefor, his main strength were "dulled" and it fell back to a contest of craft, where Gasquet is a match for him.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
He still hit 70+ winners though. A lot more than Gasquet.

I think he was overconfident. He thought he had it before it started it and sort of waited for Gasquet to give up and go away. Gasquet woke up on the wrong side and hung in there as if his life depended in it.
Agree with this. He was still hitting winners like crazy, that fifth set was just incredible. Gasquet though played the match of his life, because the quality was just that high. It just shows what it took to beat Stanimal.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
  • Wawrinka only returned well for one set (set 3)
  • Gasquet used a greater variety of "grass tactics" especially with the variety of his work from the baseline, and particularly noteworthy was his great use of the slice, especially in defence.
  • Gasquet's tempi was one that either gave Wawrinka lots of time between shots — albeit off a lower skidding bounce than usual due to having to respond to so many defensive Gasquet slices — or very little time, with clever forays to the net, S&V, chip & charge. He plays a grass-court game.
  • By contrast, Stan tries to force his game directly onto the grass without real adaptation (not dissimilar to Djokovic, but he's learned to adapt and improve substantially). He's not a real "grass-courter" as Gasquet is, though he is the better player. This was a big equaliser.
  • Gasquet's court positioning in rallies was often deep and he goaded Wawrinka into punching himself out with his do or die brute force baseline game. Won't work against Djokovic.
  • Wawrinka could not adapt and respond to the core strategic element from Gasquet (sitting deep) and, given Gasquet's mooncamping, Wawrinka was too unwilling to use the net or bring Gasquet in with say, the short slice. Generally, Wawrinka didn't use the slice much and persisted in trying to win the match through brute force, which he's been hit and miss with for a lot of the tournament. He played no worse in the Gasquet match than in the Goffin match.
  • Stan realised early that Gasquet had his measure and tried to bluff his way through this match and it won him sets 2 and 3. He was very calm and resilient, but always on the edge of being outwitted and outdone. Gasquet had a very obvious edge in overall play for the entire last half of the match.
  • In defence, Gasquet tried his best to offer Stan no more additional angle by countering up the centre and often with the slice.
  • It bears repeating that Wawrinka's return was consistently mediocre, where as Gasquet got a lot more purchase on his returns as a general rule, even though Wawrinka's serve was clearly better than Gasquet's. Gasquet won the battle of first strikes, then.
  • Stanimal does not exist on grass — it is a myth. He's a good and solid grass-courter. That is all. Gasquet had reached a Wimbledon semi-final before and has now reached another whereas Stan has never reached a Wimbledon semi-final.
 
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Cannot Gasquet just get it: He was so good in this match because of his willingness to move forward on his serve. He lost most all the points where he backed up far behind the baseline. Hitting from way back there just isn't enough against the top guys.

But let me guess: He has no balls to continue moving forward in the Djokovic match. :mad:
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
I don't know if this qualifies as an intelligent analysis but Wawrinka, for me, came into Wimbledon as one of the players likely to play a QF. Nothing more. Yesterday he had a big opportunity to win in 3, but only he can answer what happened in the 1st.

We have had the discussion about Stan on grass before, I believe. His game is just not suited to the bounce and timing required for his swing. His whole style is better suited to a more languid, if I can use that word for it, application of violence. Grass presents him with a deficit of time to apply that signature brute force.
Whilst all valid I don't think he lost for any technical reason as such. They both played fantastic tennis on an extremely high level. In the end it was the one with the most mental mettle for me that went through. I never really said that with Gasquet as victor before but I'm delighted for him, he deserves this shot.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
Cannot Gasquet just get it: He was so good in this match because of his willingness to move forward on his serve. He lost most all the points where he backed up far behind the baseline. Hitting from way back there just isn't enough against the top guys.

But let me guess: He has no balls to continue moving forward in the Djokovic match. :mad:
Yes, the commentators were onto this as well. A lot of his success came from being positive in the rallies and moving forward.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
  • Wawrinka only returned well for one set (set 3)
  • Gasquet used a greater variety of "grass tactics" especially with the variety of his work from the baseline, and particularly noteworthy was his great use of the slice, especially in defence.
  • Gasquet's tempi was one that either gave Wawrinka lots of time between shots — albeit off a lower skidding bounce than usual due to having to respond to so many defensive Gasquet slices — or very little time, with clever forays to the net, S&V, chip & charge. He plays a grass-court game.
  • By contrast, Stan tries to force his game directly onto the grass without real adaptation (not dissimilar to Djokovic, but he's learned to adapt and improve substantially). He's not a real "grass-courter" as Gasquet is, though he is the better player. This was a big equaliser.
  • Gasquet's court positioning in rallies was often deep and he goaded Wawrinka into punching himself out with his do or die brute force baseline game. Won't work against Djokovic.
  • Wawrinka could not adapt and respond to the core strategic element from Gasquet (sitting deep) and, given Gasquet's mooncamping, Wawrinka was too unwilling to use the net or bring Gasquet in with say, the short slice. Generally, Wawrinka didn't use the slice much and persisted in trying to win the match through brute force, which he's been hit and miss with for a lot of the tournament. He played no worse in the Gasquet match than in the Goffin match.
  • Stan realised early that Gasquet had his measure and tried to bluff his way through this match and it won him sets 2 and 3. He was very calm and resilient, but always on the edge of being outwitted and outdone. Gasquet had a very obvious edge in overall play for the entire last half of the match.
  • In defence, Gasquet tried his best to offer Stan no more additional angle by countering up the centre and often with the slice.
  • It bears repeating that Wawrinka's return was consistently mediocre, where as Gasquet got a lot more purchase on his returns as a general rule, even though Wawrinka's serve was clearly better than Gasquet's. Gasquet won the battle of first strikes, then.
  • Stanimal does not exist on grass — it is a myth. He's a good and solid grass-courter. That is all. Gasquet had reached a Wimbledon semi-final before and has now reached another whereas Stan has never reached a Wimbledon semi-final.
Also I noticed that Gasquet made an explicit change in strategy when Wawrinka was going through his phase of hitting hard and all going in - Gasquet took the pace off, even resorting to Monica-Niculescu-esque sliced forehands. It didn't necessarily befuddle the Swiss but it was enough to all of sudden generate a swathe of unforced errors. Gasquet was tactically spot on this match and adjusted when required.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Also I noticed that Gasquet made an explicit change in strategy when Wawrinka was going through his phase of hitting hard and all going in - Gasquet took the pace off, even resorting to Monica-Niculescu-esque sliced forehands. It didn't necessarily befuddle the Swiss but it was enough to all of sudden generate a swathe of unforced errors. Gasquet was tactically spot on this match and adjusted when required.
Exactly. The tempo changes from Gasquet were crucial. He offered a sort of bipolar strategy to Wawrinka. He often was very positive but knew when to camp and goad the attack and when to play with the fine line of allowing Wawrinka to force his own winners. It worked out very well, and tactically Gasquet played a fine match. He needs different tactics for Djokovic.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Many good points above, I would add:
Stan's weak movement was exposed by Gasquet. Gasquet used angles, styles and a variety of depth to get Stan moving.
While Gasquet's forays into net didn't always work it gave Wawrinka much more to think about.

Gasquet is no speed demon but he has excellent footwork and anticipation.
 
Cannot Gasquet just get it: He was so good in this match because of his willingness to move forward on his serve. He lost most all the points where he backed up far behind the baseline. Hitting from way back there just isn't enough against the top guys.

But let me guess: He has no balls to continue moving forward in the Djokovic match. :mad:
This is important to reiterate.

Overall lots of good analysis. Stan's main problem was not countering Gasquets slice by coming to the net in the last few games. Sometimes its just how you play a couple of big points and Stans shyness in the last few games of the 5th set in regards to coming to the net cost him. This allowed Gasquet to continue hitting low somewhat shorter slices forcing Stan to hit a very difficult backhand response. The solution is to be at the net, it negtaes the classic grass court "slice trap" as my oldcoach called it (he played in Wimbledon a few times... I detested dealing with his slice even on HC, on grass o_O ).
 
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