Rafael Nadal celebrates 35th birthday by beating Richard Gasquet and settling a third round with Britain’s Cameron Norrie at the French Open
- Nadal recorded a 17th consecutive victory over longtime rival Gasquet on Thursday]
- He also extended his record of consecutive sets won at Roland Garros to 29 .
- The Spanish third seed set up a clash with Briton Norrie . in the third round
- Watch the French Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport app
Rafael Nadal celebrated his 35th birthday in style with a 17th straight win over longtime rival Richard Gasquet to advance to the third round of the French Open.
The pair first met as juniors when they were 12 years old and Gasquet was identified as the man who could make Philippe Chatrier his court.
He won on that occasion, but since turning pro it’s become a very different story, and Nadal’s 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 win took his record against Gasquet at the tour level to 17-0.
Rafael Nadal celebrated his 35th birthday in style with victory over longtime rival Richard Gasquet
It is the sixth time in the Open era that one player has gone undefeated against another through so many matches. Novak Djokovic holds the same record against Gael Monfils, while Roger Federer defeated both Mikhail Youzhny and David Ferrer 17 times without an answer.
It’s been nearly 13 years since Gasquet even won a set against the great Spaniard, and saw a whitewash on the cards as Nadal stormed through the first set under the lights.
To his credit Gasquet didn’t allow the match to run away with him and recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, only for Nadal to take it anyway.
Defending champion also extended his record of consecutive sets won at Roland Garros to 29
He also had the answers in the third set, extending his record of consecutive sets won at Roland Garros to 29 to set up a third-round clash with Briton Cameron Norrie.
“I think I played a great first set, a great one,” said Nadal. “I don’t feel like Richard played that bad in the first set to have that score, but I didn’t miss any balls and I hit the spots all the time, so I think I played with a very high intensity.
“Then the second was a little different. I had that set point in the 5-2 game and then I didn’t play a good game with my serve. And then it’s normal to suffer against a great player like Richard. Happy to win that second set and after that I had it a bit more under control.’
Madal hosted a third round meeting of the French Open with Britain’s Cameron Norrie