NEW YORK — Rafa Nadal handed old foe Richard Gasquet a Flushing Meadows mugging on Saturday walloping the Frenchman 6-0 6-1 7-5 to ease into the US Open fourth round.
Losing to Mr. Nadal is nothing new for Mr. Gasquet who is now 0-18 against the Spaniard but seldom over the years has the Frenchman absorbed such a beating.
Mr. Nadal is always a favorite in New York but such was the second seed’s dominance that even the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd tried to lift Mr. Gasquet’s spirit as he fell behind 6-0 3-0.
When Mr. Gasquet finally held serve in the 10th game the crowd gave a mighty roar as the 36-year-old French veteran raised his arms into the air in triumph.
The beating, however, quickly resumed with Mr. Nadal sweeping the next five games to take the second set and a 2-0 lead in the third.
At that point Mr. Nadal took his foot off the gas and when Mr. Gasquet broke the 22-times Grand Slam winner to level the third set at 2-2 it earned him a standing ovation.
It took a few games for Mr. Nadal to get back in gear but the outcome was never in doubt. — Reuters