Naomi Osaka: Pundits discuss French Open withdrawal
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Rafael Nadal has handed an ominous warning to his rivals for the French Open title after storming to a dominant win over Richard Gasquet. The Spaniard defeated Gasquet in straight sets to set up a third-round clash against British star Cameron Norrie.
Nadal is attempting to win his 14th French Open this year, which would also be his fifth one in a row.
He made light work of Gasquet, a player he has known since playing junior tennis, defeating the Frenchman 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 in straight sets.
Gasquet has never beaten Nadal in tour-level tennis, with Thursday’s match the 17th meeting between the pair at that level.
The Frenchman’s dreadful record continued at Roland-Garros, with Nadal playing with an intensity Gasquet could not match.
JUST IN: Rafael Nadal puts on French Open masterclass to beat Richard Gasquet
The Spanish legend dropped just nine points in a quick-fire, 22-minute first set before storming to a 5-2 lead in the second.
But when Nadal failed to convert a set-point in the eighth game of that set, Gasquet fought back to draw level,
That fight-back did not last for long though, despite Gasquet playing more aggressively, with Nadal refocusing to break his opponent’s serve for the set.
He wrapped up the win when he again broke Gasquet’s serve, firstly in the sixth game and then in the final game.
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It has once again been a dominant tournament from Nadal, with the 35-year-old also winning his first-round match against Alexei Popyrin in straight sets.
And following the defeat of Gasquet, the Spanish star delivered a warning to his rivals for the Grand Slam.
“I played an amazing first set, I don’t feel Richard was playing that bad to have that score. I didn’t miss a ball and was hitting the spots all the time,” said Nadal.
“The second was a little bit different and I was happy to win that, then I was a little bit more controlled.
“The important thing is to win the match, but of course it is better to win in straight sets. The main thing is I’m playing well.”
Nadal will now face Norrie in the Last 32, with the 25-year-old the last British player left in the competition.
It will be the Briton’s first appearance in the French Open’s third round and just the third time he has done so in any Grand Slam.
He fought back from an opening set defeat to beat Lloyd Harris 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and will now face Nadal in the next round on Saturday.
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