‘Easily my best match’ – Rafael Nadal cruises to 18-0 over Richard Gasquet
Rafael Nadal is into the fourth round of the US Open after a routine win against perennial adversary Richard Gasquet.
The 22-time Major champion has now beaten Gasquet in all 18 of their tour level meetings stretching back to their first encounter in 2004, Nadal winning 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Moreover, Gasquet has failed to claim a set off Nadal for 13 straight matches now, 34 sets in a row, since their fifth battle at the 2008 Canadian Masters.
“My best match in the tournament. Easy to say that because the other day was tough,” Nadal admitted in his post-match press conference.
No doubt Nadal will face a sterner test in his next match against world number 26 Frances Tiafoe, who has made it to the fourth round at the US Open for the first time, and without dropping a set.
The Spaniard and American have met on-court twice before, both in 2019, and Nadal is aware that Tiafoe has developed since then.
“He has improved. He’s more solid than before,” he explained. “He has more matches and years on the tour. He has experience.
“He already competed in the biggest stages in advanced rounds. He’s a player who plays with a lot of passion, a lot of energy.
“He’s a player that I’m not going to [beat] if I am not playing well. So I need to play well. I hope to make that happen.”
Nadal has now won 10 matches in a row at the US Open across his title run in 2019 and his return there in 2022.
The 36-year-old can breach 70 career wins in New York should he reach the final, an achievement that would make him just the seventh man to do so in the Open Era after Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors.
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