French Open: Rafael Nadal destroys Gasquet, advances to third round
Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal earned a vigorous victory over Richard Gasquet in the second round of 2021 French Open. The 20-time Grand Slam champion celebrated his 35th birthday by beating the latter 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes. Nadal is now 17-0 against Gasquet in ATP head-to-head meetings, one of the most one-sided Open Era match-ups. Here is more.
How did the match pan out?
Nadal completely dominated Gasquet in what was a one-sided first set. He won 100 percent of his first-serve points (8/8) and claimed a total of 25 points. The Frenchman raised his game in the second set, having recovered from a 1-4 deficit. He fought hard but eventually lost the set. Nadal outlasted Gasquet in the third set, proceeding to the third round.
Nadal 17-0 Gasquet
Nadal now owns an ATP head-to-head lead of 17-0 against Gasquet. His rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have a similar record (both 17-0) against Gael Monfils and David Ferrer respectively. Notably, Nadal hasn't lost a set to Gasquet since 2008 (ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto). Ever since the Spaniard has won 31 consecutive sets against Gasquet.
French Open 2021: No French player in the third round
Gasquet was one of three French players who reached the second round in Paris this year alongside Monfils and wildcard Enzo Couacaud. This is the first time in the Open Era that no French player has advanced to the third round at Roland Garros.
'Gasquet is a great player', Nadal said after the match
Praising Gasquet, Nadal said, "I think I played a great first set, one of the best of the clay-court season, in my opinion. No mistakes, high intensity, winners, playing long." "In the second, still good. Then, of course, Gasquet is a great player. He had some good serves in the next game, and then [it] was tough," he added.
Nadal's quest for a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title
Nadal is now 20-3 in the ongoing season, having won in Rome and Barcelona. He has lost only two matches on clay in this period. The Spaniard, who is bidding to win a record-extending 14th Roland Garros crown, will next face Cameron Norrie. The latter claimed a resounding win over Lloyd Harris (4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2), having lost the first set.