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TENNIS

Ruthless Nadal hands Gasquet mugging to reach fourth round

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 U.S. Open fourth round.

Update:
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating France's Richard Gasquet during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament men's singles third round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on September 3, 2022. (Photo by COREY SIPKIN / AFP)
COREY SIPKINAFP

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 Nadal is nothing new for Gasquet who is now 0-18 against the Spaniard but seldom over the years has the Frenchman absorbed such a severe beating.

Nadal is always a favourite in New York but such was the second seed’s dominance that even the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd tried to lift Gasquet’s spirit as he fell behind 6-0 3-0. When 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.

Tiafoe next

The beating, however, quickly resumed with Nadal sweeping the next five games to take the second set and a 2-0 lead in the third. At that point Nadal took his foot off the gas and when 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 Nadal to get back in gear but the outcome was never in doubt, the Spaniard collecting his seventh break of the match to go up 6-5 then coolly holding serve to clinch a convincing win. Up next for Nadal is American hope Frances Tiafoe who advanced with a 7-6(7) 6-4 6-4 win over Argentine 14th seed Diego Schwartzman.

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