Watch the Frenchman beat Rafael Nadal when he played the then Spanish wonder kid at 13.
Richard Gasquet’s career record against Rafael Nadal shows an embarrassing 10 defeats in 10 matches, but the Frenchman can at least boast one victory over the Spaniard — when he was 13.
Gasquet reached his first US Open semi-final on Wednesday with a rollercoaster 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 win over David Ferrer, the Spanish fourth seed.
If Nadal gets past Tommy Robredo in his quarter-final, Gasquet will face the great Spaniard once again for a place in Monday’s title match.
Gasquet, who is a close friend of the world number two, recalled how he defeated Nadal at the Les Petits As junior event in the French city of Tarbes when they were both just 13.
“I watch it on YouTube sometimes. People are talking about this video. I can see I’m winning against him, but I don’t believe it sometimes,” said the 27-year-old.
“I didn’t know him when I played him when I was 13 years old. He was already fighting a lot, already running so much, and I remember I won maybe 6-4 in a set, and I told my father after that he’s a big fighter.
“I didn’t lie. It was true. He is one of the biggest players in history. It’s good to win at under 14, but it is better to win on the pro tour. I didn’t but life is long. We are only 27.”
Gasquet has not taken a set off Nadal in their last five meetings so he may prefer to face Robredo, with whom he has split four matches.
The 27-year-old French player will be playing in his second Grand Slam semi-final after reaching the same stage at Wimbledon in 2007.
But he shrugged off fears that having played two tough five-setters to get to this stage he would be too exhausted to face either Nadal or Robredo — he had needed four hours and 40 minutes to get past Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
“I was a little bit tired after Raonic, but I knew I could play another big match. I wasn’t feeling so tired this morning,” said Gasquet.
“And I knew I had to be aggressive. My backhand was working very good today and I think it was the key of the match. I played a lot down the line, and it worked.
“But I have two days to recover. I’m playing Saturday. That makes a big difference for me. I think Saturday I will be fresh.”
Video of Nadal and Gasquet playing at age 13 in junior tournament can be seen at: