The French tennis player is facing the tournament champion for the 17th time today, he has only been able to snatch 4 sets from him in all his duels.
“It is fabulous to play against Rafa, but also disappointing, never to beat him,” says Gasquet
He was the best child in the world when Richard Gasquet faced Rafael Nadal in the ‘Des Petites As’ tournament held in Tarbes (France). Then they were 13 years old and the French tennis player prevailed in the third set (6-7, 6-3, 6-4). It was the first of his victories before crossing the door of the professional circuit where Gasket has never managed to beat Nadal in the 16 times they have met.
In Estoril in 2004 they met for the first time on the circuit with a victory for Nadal (6-4, 3-6, 6-2) but the one that scored, one before and one after the duels between the two tennis players, was the who faced them in 2005, at Roland Garros.
Gasket remember that game where, in addition to fighting against Nadal, had to withstand all the pressure of the French fans who saw him as the great promise to conquer a Roland Garros that a French tennis player has not won, and has not yet won since Yannick noah in 1983.
“It was 33 degrees and when I left the court I told my father that Rafa was going to win Roland Garros. I realized that he was an alien, that he would be an extraordinary tennis player on clay, although it still amazes me that he has won so many times “Gasquet remembers that he lost 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2.
A defeat that came after Gasquet missed a few weeks before the victory against Nadal in the semifinals of Monte Carlo 2005. “I had beaten Federer in the quarterfinals. I felt very good and dominated the game 7-6, 2-0. “recalls the French tennis player. Nadal also remembers that day. “It was a very important victory for me because it gave me the opportunity to win my first Masters 1,000”, highlights the Mallorcan tennis player.
“It is fabulous to play against Rafa but at the same time very disappointing. A frustration because I have never been able to beat him,” he admits Gasket before his next confrontation this Thursday (9pm, Eurosport). Not only that. In his 16 matches the Frenchman has only been able to snatch four sets from him.
The last time they crossed their rackets was also at Roland Garros 2018 and the result was another defeat (6-3, 6-2, 6-2). “I have beaten Federer, to Djokovic, to Murray, to all the best but against him it has been impossible, “he laments Gasket.
Very different careers
“We are both 35 years old, but we do not have the same level,” he accepts resignedly. Gasket, currently 53 worldwide and with 18 titles in his record, far from the 88 of Nadal and those 13 Roland Garros that the manacorense has conquered in the same time.
“Nadal He is unquestionably the top favorite, “says the French tennis player who, faced with his new confrontation, is content to” enjoy and play a good game.
“We have known each other very well since we played for the first time when we were 13 years old. So he was the best,” he recalled. Nadal. The situation 22 years after that first match in Tarbes.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.