Second seed Rafael Nadal continued his staggering head-to-head domination of Richard Gasquet as he cruised into the fourth round at the US Open with a straight-sets victory on Saturday.
The 22-time major winner was irrepressible across the first two sets before Gasquet rallied in the third, but Nadal triumphed 6-0 6-1 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes.
The victory means the 2022 Australian Open and French Open champion will face 22nd seed Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round and improves his head-to-head record against Gasquet to 18-0.
Nadal, who had been shaky early against Fabio Fognini last round, was ruthless when it mattered, hitting 35 winners for the match and winning 78 per cent on his first serve.
After dropping the opening sets in his previous two matches against Fognini and Rinky Hijikata, Nadal responded with a flawless first frame that included converting three of six break points.
Gasquet's belief seemed completely gone in the second set, managing no winners, with Nadal in control. The Frenchman ended Nadal's nine-game winning run to loud applause, raising his arms in celebration and probable relief.
Nadal broke early in the third but Gasquet responded to break back, pushing hard in the third set. But the Spaniard's quality shone highlighted by his finesse with a lob helping him claim the decisive break in the 11th game.
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Saturday's win was Nadal's 30th at night at Arthur Ashe Stadium and took his tally to 22-0 at majors this year, having only withdrawn from Wimbledon due to an abdominal injury. The triumph also saw him progress to the second week at Flushing Meadows for the 12th time in his decorated career, that includes four US Open titles.
Nadal – 35/23
Gasquet – 19/29
Nadal – 2/8
Gasquet – 1/7
BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 7/15
Gasquet – 1/7