Rafael Nadal says he is excited to take on old friend Richard Gasquet in round three of the French Open after claiming a comfortable victory over Guido Pella.
The world number one looks in great form on his favoured clay surface and all the signs suggest he will be in the running to lift another title at Roland Garros.
Nadal went into his round two match as the heavy favourite and he didn’t disappoint as he dropped just four games en route to defeating Pella 6-2 6-1 6-1 in two hours and three minutes.
The 10-time French Open champion is yet to drop a set in Paris as he hit 24 forehand winners and Nadal has now won his last 27 sets at the Grand Slam.
The Spaniard will take on Gasquet, who beat Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-0, in round three as both look to advance deeper into the competition.
Nadal has won all 15 of his professional meetings with Gasquet and will be confident of adding another to that impressive tally.
He insists it will be “special” to go up against a long-term friend but no doubt their allegiances will be left in the locker room on Saturday as week two beckons.
Nadal said: “I’m very happy, I played more aggressive than in the first round, so I’m very happy with that.
“Richard (Gasquet) is a very good friend. We’ve known each other since we were 11 or 12 years old so it will be very special to play again against him on such an important court for my career.”