Nadal easily beats Gasquet to reach 4th round at French Open | Inquirer Sports
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Nadal easily beats Gasquet to reach 4th round at French Open

/ 12:24 AM June 03, 2018

Spain’s Rafael Nadal, right, hugs France’s Richard Gasquet after their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Saturday, June 2, 2018 in Paris. Nadal won 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

PARIS — Defending champion Rafael Nadal easily beat Richard Gasquet once again, reaching the fourth round of the French Open with a crushing 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win on Saturday.

Nadal is gaining momentum in his bid for a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros, and Gasquet never looked remotely like stopping him.

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He rarely has.

The top-ranked Spaniard inflicted a 16th defeat on Gasquet, who has lost every encounter dating back to 2004.

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In fact, the 27th-seeded Frenchman has not even taken a set off him in 11 straight matches, including this latest one-sided affair. It makes gloomy reading for Gasquet, who quickly trailed 5-0 in sunny conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier.

With clubbing forehands, Nadal streaked ahead 4-0 in the second set and did the same in the third, before Gasquet finally held serve after a long fifth game. A rare highlight for Gasquet was when he earned applause from Nadal following a superb cushioned volley at the net.

A brilliant shot which also summed Gasquet’s career: exquisite talent, including one of the best backhands in tennis, but little end product.

Nadal clinched victory on his first match point when Gasquet chopped an errant backhand long. Moments after hugging Gasquet sympathetically, Nadal was all smiles as he exchanged a couple of rallies with a ball boy to warm applause from the crowd.

Nadal is chasing a men’s singles 17th Grand Slam title — only Roger Federer has more with 20 — and next faces the unseeded German Maximilian Marterer in their first career meeting.

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TAGS: French Open, Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Roland Garros, Tennis
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