US Open 2013: Awesome Rafael Nadal sets up semi-final against Richard Gasquet

The second seed beat Tommy Robredo 6-0 6-2 6-2

Rafael Nadal produced a stunning display to trounce fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

A day after Novak Djokovic dropped just three games in beating Marcel Granollers, Nadal was every bit as dominant in a 6-0 6-2 6-2 victory.

This was supposed to be the long-awaited first meeting in New York between Nadal and Roger Federer but Robredo spoiled the party in the fourth round.

It cannot have felt like much of a prize as he won only five points in a first set that lasted just 22 minutes.

Robredo had managed only one set in six previous meetings with Nadal, who has an excellent record against his fellow Spanish baseliners.

There was a huge cheer from the night crowd on Arthur Ashe when Robredo finally won a game in the second set, but by that stage he was already 2-0 down.

Nadal has not had his serve broken all tournament and Robredo could not put him under any real pressure.

As soon as Nadal broke in the fifth game of the third set the match was as good as over, although to his credit Robredo did not stop fighting.

The victory took Nadal's record on hard courts this year to 20 wins and no defeats, and he will be a big favourite to defeat Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals.

Nadal said of his performance: "I'm happy. I think I played my best match of the US Open. I'm playing a little bit better every day and it's a great year. I'm very happy to be in the semi-finals. I want to enjoy every moment."

Earlier, Gasquet posted a landmark five-set victory over David Ferrer.

The Frenchman is one of the most talented players on tour but too often his nerve has failed him in big matches.

Having dominated the first two sets, Gasquet looked set to suffer another heartbreaking loss when fourth seed Ferrer fought back to level the match.

But this time it was Gasquet who came good in the decider to clinch a 6-3 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-3 victory after three hours and 23 minutes.

Of the 27-year-old's last six five-set defeats at grand slams, five of them have come after he was two sets up.

But there have been signs this season that Gasquet was ready to leave his reputation behind him.

And he showed in his fourth-round victory over Milos Raonic, where he saved a match point in the fourth set before going on to win in five, that he could battle and win.

Somewhat ironically, the only other time Gasquet has reached a grand slam semi-final was at Wimbledon six years ago when he came back from two sets down to beat Andy Roddick before losing to Roger Federer.

Gasquet said: "I've lost some (five-setters), but I won some, too. So it's in the middle.

"It's always difficult when you are losing this kind of match, especially when you have been winning. At 5-2 in the fifth, I really wanted to close that match to win, because it's Ferrer, centre court in the US Open, so it's a big chance for me to go to the semis.

"I knew in the fifth set it was a very important set for me. For sure, it's one of my biggest victories."

The Frenchman's one-handed backhand is the most elegant shot in tennis and it was firing on all cylinders in the first two sets.

Ferrer is a ferocious competitor, though, and an early break in the third set changed the momentum of the match.

But it was the Spaniard that cracked in the end, the man known as the little beast serving a double fault on break point in the sixth game of the fifth set.

Worringly for Gasquet, he has lost all 10 of his professional matches against his former junior rival Nadal, who is just two weeks older.

"The last time I beat him I was 13 years old," Gasquet said with a smile. "I beat him one time in my life."

PA

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence