After two unexpected litmus tests, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal scored his first stunning victory against Frenchman Richard Gasquet at this United States Open on Saturday, setting him up for a Grand Slam round of 16.
The Spaniard showed no mercy to his friend and generation mate, whom he has won in all 18 of his fights, and ended the match 6-0, 6-1 y 7-5 On Center Court in Flushing Meadows (New York).
Nadal, who won the first nine games of the match, faced resistance only from Gasket in an entertaining third set.
The Spaniard, the winner of the Australian Open and Roland Garros, is unbeaten in 22 matches at this year’s Grand Slam tournament and will now take on No. 26 American Francis Tiafo in the ATP round of 16.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 4 September 2022
,Today I was able to raise my level a little more and that’s important as the tournament progressesNadal congratulated himself.I hope today’s win against a great friend like Richard will help me grow in my tennis and confidence.,
The Spaniard jumped into the world’s largest Arthur Ashe court, the scar on his nose that he inflicted on himself with an accidental racket on Thursday. ,The nose is still there, a little bigger than usual but that’s okay”, he joked later.
The injury, though it didn’t affect his game, reminded him of two unexpected battles he had to go through this week against debutant Rinki Hijikata and veteran Fabio Fognini, who challenged him with the first set.
It was a rough start to the Grand Slam for the Spaniard, who landed with little filming in New York due to his recent injuries and also with his wife, Marie Perello, who was pregnant with the couple’s first child. was in position.
Nadal longed for a match without turmoil and the team gave him a hand by arming him with Gasket, a rival he has known because they were both tennis prodigies and with whom he had never lost as a professional.
The Frenchman, 36 years and 15 days younger than Nadal, had not taken a single of the last 31 sets he played since 2008, which has now risen to 34. AFP