Rafael Nadal, number three in the world, celebrated his best performance at the US Open tournament on Saturday night. He scored 6/0 6/1 7/5 over Frenchman Richard Gasquet, former top 10 and currently 91st.
“It was my best match of the tournament, without a doubt. It’s the first time I’ve won in three sets in this tournament. He raised the bar in the third set and that tied everything, but I’m very happy to be in the fourth round,” said the Spaniard. who defeated his rival for the 18th time in 18 games.
Now the rival will be the American Frances Tiafoe, 26th: “He is playing very well, he has improved a lot. Now he is stronger than before. He has more matches and years on the circuit, which gives him more experience. He is a tennis player with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, I know it will be a very big challenge and that I need to increase my level and my intensity on the track to be able to win it.
Nadal was asked about the accident he had in the previous start on the nose and commented that it was a more normal day, however the tire for him was misleading: “Today was a more normal day. The other day, for an hour and a half, I could to lose. That the other is better than you is part of the sport. It was an abnormal situation, within my way of competing and my tennis level, which was very low. One day these things happen, but luckily he was saved. No I expected the same thing to happen to me. Maybe, but you have to learn from things and come out with the idea of playing better and not repeating what happened. Today things went very fast, but it was a very complicated 6/0, because every game was very competitive. I couldn’t beat a player like him by 6/0 6/1 6/1. Richard raised the bar and in that transition of seeing his level, you seem surprised, and so the set was a set as it should be with someone like him.
Nadal commented that he has not been using coaching during his matches: “I’m not using it much, really. I’m used to playing my ball. Tennis, historically, has been without coaching for many years and I’m used to finding solutions on my own, which I think is the fun of this sport. I’m not criticizing it, because if I remember correctly, I voted for it. I think the fact that there is no coaching comes from a long time, when not everyone could have a coach, but today we all travel with a coach. It’s no use having him and not being able to tell him anything. But I think the funny thing is that the tennis player is alone on the court and he’s the one who looks for solutions.”