On his 35th birthday, in his first experience of the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal’s 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 victory over his old friend sent him through to a last-32 meeting with Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
“Of course it's better to win 16 in a row than lose 16 in a row,” Nadal said. “When you go to the match and you have been winning all the last 16 times, of course the confidence is a little bit higher than when you have a tougher head-to-head.
“Being honest, I respect (and) I know how good is Richard. I know he's coming back after a tough period of time. I think he played smart, playing aggressive. I don't know. I just went on court with highest respect, with the highest focus possible, and that's what I try to do every day against everyone.”
When Gasquet first played Nadal as a teenager, he came off court and said that Nadal would go on to win Roland-Garros one day, so talented was the young Spaniard.
Thirteen Paris titles on, Nadal shows no sign of stopping yet and in the first set he was little short of sensational, barely missing a ball as the Frenchman was pummelled into submission.