There was an unusual silence on an empty center court at the french open as the defending champion celebrated his 35th birthday with a very usual victory against Richard Gasquet.
Nadal won 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 against Gasquet to improve to 17-0 for his career against Gasquet since they met in 2004. Gasquet has never won not even a set in his 12 losses to Nadal. There were no fans on court to witness Nadal’s victory (102) 2nd at french Open because of coronavirus rules. Nadal just took 24 minutes to win his first set.
Gasquet tried to come back after railing from 5-2 in the next set to reach 5-5 but missed an easy volley and Nadal broke him again to take the 2nd set. In the 3rd set Gasquet did not produce the level he needed to even to make it competitive. He simply doesn’t have the weapons to even make a dent in Nadal. There were many balls he could have taken more risk and gone for it but hit down the middle like another current gen mediocre player.
The 1st set was Rafa’s best set in a long time, sharp, aggressive, flawless. His dominance in french Open keeps impressing everybody. Rafa looks lean and fitter than he has been in a while. Nadal is a freaking monster. His strength makes top players look like Rookies. He sticks his opponent in a pencil sharpener and keeps grinding them. He just shows no mercy at all. This game was a good practice session for Rafa as he did not want to embarrass his old friend in front of an empty crowd. I just feel bad for anyone who has to play Nadal on clay. He seems like he’s torturing them.