Former world No. 7 Richard Gasquet is extremely excited about facing record 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.
Gasquet, now ranked at No. 53 in the world, is set to face Nadal in the French Open third round.
In the first round, Gasquet dropped only seven games en route to beating fellow compatriot Hugo Gaston.
The head-to-head record between Nadal and Gasquet stands on the Spaniards way as he leads 16-0.
“It’s fun! It’s fabulous for me to play him. He is perhaps the greatest player of all time, we have said it hundreds of times. I’m happy to play him. I want to play a great game,” Gasquet said of Nadal, per Quentin Moynet.
Gasquet enters the match as the big underdog
Nadal won his first round match in straight sets and he is a favorite to do the same against Gasquet.
Nadal saved two set points against Alexei Popyrin in the first round en route to claiming a straight-set win.
“We are playing best-of-five. The other player needs to win two more sets to beat you, and I know I am going to be there fighting for every single point,” said Nadal of those set points. “Of course I don’t want to lose the set at all, but that’s part of the game. You face a player that [has] decided to go for every shot, so you are in trouble. If he’s having success like he did with his serve, then it’s difficult to have breaks, and then you are in a tricky position.”
Nadal also spoke positively of Popyrin.
“With this serve, with these kinds of shots from the baseline, [Popyrin has] everything to become a top player,” Nadal said. “If he wants to do it, of course he is going to have his chances, because he has a lot of very difficult things in his game. He has everything to become a great, no, a fantastic player. Let’s see. Let’s see what is going on in the next couple of months, years.”