Who knew Richard Gasquet had a sense of humour and could have a laugh at his own expense? He certainly possesses a glorious tennis style to watch on court, but off court he can be a bit sullen and doesn’t often break into a smile. But when he was asked about playing the semifinals of the US Open things changed.
A journalist was trying to be polite about his record with Rafael Nadal when Gasquet broke up the room and said, putting his index finger and thumb together to show zero, “it is zero” and started laughing at himself. It was great to see him relaxed.
In fact the head-to-head is 10-0 to Nadal, four on hard court and six on clay but they have not faced one another since 2011.
But Gasquet has in fact beaten Nadal, only thing is you have to go back14 years. Gasquet and Nadal played in Tarbes one of the biggest
junior tournaments for under 14s and on that occasion Gasquet won. It wasn’t that long ago that he was watching the match on You Tube.
“People are talking about this video, you know, when I played against him, against Rafa. YouTube and I can see I'm winning against him, so I don't believe it sometimes,” said Gasquet laughing.
”I didn't lie; I was true. In the future, this one is biggest player in the world in the history. So for sure I won that time at 13 years old, but since this match I didn't...”
Gasquet is pretty pleased at winning that under 14s match but never figured at that time they would be meeting yet again in the semis of the US Open, both at the age of 27.
“You know, it's good to win under 14, but is better to win on the pro, and I didn't,” he said. “But life is long, huh? We are only 27 years old. Even me. So why not? We will see.”
Rafa was very warm in speaking about Gasquet saying he is a “very nice person” and because they are the same age he is someone he has an affinity with.
“When you see a player like Richard that we grow up in, you know, similar ways and we played when we were kids (it’s nice),” said Nadal. “ We have the chance to be in the semifinals of the US Open, so is great. Is a great thing for both of us, so very happy.”