Rafael Nadal was not overly keen to celebrate his birthday in the Eurosport studio after his victory over Richard Gasquet in the second round of the French Open.
The birthday boy marked his special day, reaching the 35 mark, with a
comfortable straight sets victory over Richard Gasquet
at Roland Garros.
The 13-time champion at Roland Garros blew the Frenchman away with a quite breathtaking opening set bagel and he was in total control after taking the second 7-5.
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Gasquet did respond well to the bagel with that second set but he was not able to keep up the resistance in the third as Nadal closed out the win in comfortable fashion.
Appearing virtually in the Eurosport Cube with Barbara Schett and Mats Wilander presenting him with a birthday cake, the Spaniard joked about reaching the 35 mark.
"No! No! Don't celebrate! Don't celebrate!" Nadal shouted jokingly.
35 is not great. I'm not happy, honestly, 25 I'd like to have... 25, not 35.
"But at least I'm here, still playing tennis, something that would have been tough for me to imagine 10 years ago, and still in a privileged position."
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Earlier in his post-match on-court interview, Nadal said: "I played an incredible first set. Richard did not play at all badly in the first set but I did not miss.
"I was happy to win the second set 7-5 and then after that I was a bit more comfortable I think."
The third seed will now await the challenge of
Britain's Cam Norrie, who earlier in the day beat Lloyd Harris
of South Africa in their second-round match.
Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have all found themselves in the same part of the men's draw in what is an intriguing prospect.
Highlights: Nadal overpowers Gasquet to progress on his birthday
The draw looks particularly exciting for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev with the trio not having to face any of the 'Big Three' until the final at least.
Djokovic could take on Nadal in the semi-finals in Paris in what would be a repeat from last year's final in the postponed autumnal edition.
The three most successful players in the history of the men's game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them.
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Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live
on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app
with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph.
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