TennisSection previews the 2021 French Open as Rafael Nadal (3) meets Richard Gasquet in the Round of 64 on Thursday, June 3rd 2021.
Will Richard Gasquet be able to get one of the biggest wins of his career under his belt in the last 5 years as he has struggled a lot with form and injuries? Will Rafael Nadal build on his strong performance in the opening round where he had to fight in the third set to win the match? Both players have got a lot of experience and they have met many times before, but only one will make their way to the Round of 32 of Roland Garros. Who will come out on top?
Richard Gasquet will be very happy with his performance in the Round of 128, beating the younger Frenchman Hugo Gaston in straight sets 6-1/6-4/6-2. Hugo Gaston is always a tough player to beat, especially here at Roland Garros where he beat Stan Wawrinka and took Dominic Thiem to 5-sets last year. However, Richard Gasquet used all of his experience and his flamboyance in his game to get the win under his belt in style. Richard Gasquet will gain some momentum and confidence from that win here at the 2021 French Open, but he will need much more of it if he is to get anything going against Rafael Nadal, the 13 time French Open champion.
Rafael Nadal cruised through his opening round match here at Roland Garros, beating the young Aussie, Alexei Popyrin, in straight sets 6-3/6-2/7-6. The first two sets were exactly what we expected from Rafael, but in the third set, Alexei Popyrin took on a similar playing style to Robin Soderling (taking the ball at the peak of the bounce and hitting flat to take time away from Rafa). This allowed Alexei to lead the set 5-2 at one point, and even having 2 set points on his serve. However, closing out a set, let alone a match, against Nadal is much harder than anything else here at Roland Garros. Rafa was able to break back, and then cruised away with the rest of the set. Now, Rafa will be looking to continue building on his game as he meets a tough opponent in Richard Gasquet.
Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet have met 16 times before, with Rafael Nadal leading the head to head 16-0. This is the second most one-sided head to head in tennis history (only trailing Federer and Youzhny 17-0). However, with this match, Rafael Nadal will equal another one of Federer’s records. Unfortunately for Richard Gasquet, who has only one 4 sets in his 16 matches against Rafa, he will be knocked out of the tournament quite easily here in my opinion. Rafael Nadal is on a different level to anyone when it comes to the French Open, and Richard will stand no chance here. Look for history to be made on Thursday, with Nadal extending his head to head lead to 17-0 and win the match in straight sets to move to the Round of 32 at the 2021 French Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal in 3 Sets.