Rafael Nadal follows Novak Djokovic’s record

Since the start of the Open era, there have been six rivalries with 17 victories for one player and none for the other. Bjorn Borg beat Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times without a loss, and Ivan Lendl repeated that against Tim Mayotte in the upcoming years.

Roger Federer is 17-0 against David Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny, entering the special group after owning two one-sided rivalries. Novak Djokovic went a step further and delivered 18 victories against Gael Monfils without experiencing a defeat.

The Serb had led the charts until Saturday night before Rafael Nadal claimed his 18th triumph over Richard Gasquet from as many encounters. Nadal and Gasquet kicked off their rivalry in Estoril 2004, and two youngsters played a three-setter in their first five duels.

Nadal won them all to gain a boost and a physiological advantage over his coeval. Rafa lost the opening set tie break in Canada 2008 and left Richard behind in sets two and three.

Rafael Nadal has beaten Richard Gasquet in all 18 duels.

Nadal has won 34 consecutive sets against Gasquet for complete domination and his name in the record books alongside Novak Djokovic.

Rafa scored his 18th win over Richard in the US Open third round, beating the Frenchman 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes for a place in the last 16. The Spaniard saved six out of seven break points and kept the pressure on the other side.

Nadal controlled the pace with 35 winners and 23 unforced errors and grabbed over half of the return points to notch seven breaks from 15 opportunities and bring the victory home. Gasquet earned three break chances in the encounter’s first game, and Nadal saved them to avoid an early setback.

Rafa broke in game two and grabbed another game to forge a 4-0 advantage. The Spaniard saved a break point in game five and delivered his third break in the next one for 6-0 in 42 minutes. Richard got broken in the second set’s second game to find himself 6-0, 2-0 behind before he finally held at 0-3 to add his name to the scoreboard.

The Frenchman sprayed a backhand error in the sixth game to find fall 5-1 behind, and the Spaniard placed a backhand winner at the net in the next one for 6-0, 6-1 in 80 minutes. Nadal moved 2-0 up before Gasquet pulled the break back in game four to gain some boost.

Both players served well in the next six games to stay in touch at 5-5. Nadal created three break chances in the 11th game and squandered them. The Spaniard earned and seized the fourth to deliver the crucial break and open a 6-5 advantage. Rafa held at 15 in game 12 to seal the deal and advance into the last 16.

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