Nadal has yet to drop serve at this years US Open (holding 67 times), buy has broken serve 29 times. This fact tells you just how well the Spaniard is playing and with a 10-1 head to head advantage vs Richard Gasquet it seems on paper, the Frenchman will simply end up as another statistic in Nadal’s procession to the final.
Nadal’s comments after his ¼ final victory over Robredo suggest the great man knows that he is in the midst of playing some special tennis.
“I think I played great the first set – it’s my first set so far this year at 100%. I did all the things that you expect to do good in the first set, in my opinion. I am very happy with the way that I moved myself on court, very happy with the way I hit my forehand and my
backhand especially. So in general it was my best match of the tournament, so that’s great news.”
Gasquet has played 4 hours 9 minutes more than Nadal to reach the semi-finals, and this should no doubt be a factor as well.
But once you know the history of these 2 players, a sense of nostalgia engulfs you and you begin to hope they can play out a classic match at Flushing meadows tomorrow.
14 years ago Nadal played Gasquet for the very first time. It was at a Junior under 14 tournament in a tiny French town over the Pyrenees from Spain called Tarbes. Gasquet recalled the match after his ¼ final victory over Ferrer:
“I saw on YouTube that video sometimes. People are talking about this video, you know, when I played against him, against Rafa. I can see I’m winning against him, so I don’t believe it sometimes. He (Nadal) was already fighting a lot already, already running so much. You know,
it’s good to win under 14, but is better to win on the pro (tour), and I didn’t. But life is long, huh? We are only 27 years old. Even me. So why not? We will see.”
Lets hope the match lives up to the Nostalgia and not the stats. We certainly don’t want it to be anything like Nadal’s ¼ final victory over Robredo that was the shortest at the US Open since 1988, when Ivan Lendl beat Derrick Rostagno.