World No. 1 Rafael Nadal stayed on course for his 11th Roland Garros crown in 2018 after a 6-3 6-2 6-2 triumph over Richard Gasquet. It was Nadal’s 26th win in 28 matches that year and his 233rd win at a Major. It took Rafa an hour and 58 minutes to wrap up his 82nd win at Roland Garros and reach the Round of 16 in Paris for the 13th time out of 14 trips to Paris.

Rafa and Richard met for the sixteenth time on the Tour, and the Spaniard held up perfectly against his great rival from the youth era. Furthermore, Nadal surpassed his previous record for consecutive sets won in Paris. He had 32 between 2007 and 2018 and raised it to 34 after taking all three sets against Gasquet.

Rafa Nadal became the sixth player in the Open Era with 40 appearances in the fourth round of a Major, joining Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. Rafa had 34 winners and 15 unforced errors, and Gasquet was nowhere near that pace.

Rafael Nadal

He shot 14 winners with 20 errors and failed to impose his shots and move the Spaniard out of his comfort zone. The Spaniard lost 11 points in his games and was broken once. He was nearly perfect on the return, converting six of seven break points and controlling the scoreboard from start to finish to cruise into the Round of 16.

The game started in the worst possible way for the local player. Richard gave up all 12 points on serve and found himself down 3-0 in no time. Rafa took a 5-0 lead after a dominant performance in the first 20 minutes and moved closer to the first point.

Suddenly, Richard won three games in a row and recovered a break in game seven as Rafa served for the set. The Spaniard kept his cool and closed out the game with a solid serve in game nine for 6-3.

Nadal is having a dream 2022 season

When Rafael Nadal asked him about the plan to achieve that, the ATP Chairman called for financial transparency between events and players, a 50-50 profit-sharing structure, and enhancement of the Masters 1000 tournaments.

“I think it’s a win-win formula. The Masters 1000s are huge events. Sometimes from my personal perspective, the rest of the tournaments are considered much lower than Grand Slams, so I think our goal, as ATP, should be to put our tournaments closer and closer to the Slams in terms of promotion and importance. We need to encourage the tournaments to keep growing,” said Nadal.

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