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"17 years ago, I played you & now, I’m interviewing you" - James Blake after Rafael Nadal's US Open R3 win

US Open Tennis
James Blake (L) and Rafael Nadal at the 2005 US Open

Presenting yet another example of Rafael Nadal's spectacular longevity, former American player James Blake showered praise on the Spaniard after he reached the fourth round of the 2022 US Open on Saturday.

Former World No. 4 Blake interviewed the 22-time Major champion on the court right after the match ended, and a while later, for a program on ESPN. Blake took a trip down memory lane, recalling his first meeting with Nadal as a player at the 2005 US Open, the very venue where he interviewed him after 17 years.

"17 years ago, I played you on Ashe and now I’m interviewing you because you are still one of, if not the, greatest in the world. Incredibly inspiring @RafaelNadal," Blake tweeted.⁦
17 years ago, I played you on Ashe and now I’m interviewing you because you are still one of, if not the, greatest in the world. Incredibly inspiring ⁦@RafaelNadalhttps://t.co/WD0Bpga851

In the third round of the 2005 US Open, wildcard entrant Blake stunned second seed Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. He went on to win his next match as well, against another Spaniard, Tommy Robredo, in four sets.

The American's campaign ended in a tight quarterfinal clash against eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi, who rallied from two sets to love down to win 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(6). Agassi lost to Roger Federer in the summit clash in four sets.

Nadal and Blake faced each other a total of seven times and while the American won the first three matches, the four-time US Open winner won the remaining four.


Rafael Nadal to face Frances Tiafoe in US Open R4

Frances Tiafoe (L) and Rafael Nadal
Frances Tiafoe (L) and Rafael Nadal

In his third-round match on Saturday night, Rafael Nadal outclassed Richard Gasquet yet again, registering a straight-sets victory in two hours and 17 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The scorecard read 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 in the Spaniard's favor, marking his 18th victory in as many matches against the Frenchman.

Nadal joins Novak Djokovic for the biggest head-to-head difference against a player. The Serb has an 18-0 record against Gael Monfils of France.

For a spot in the quarterfinals, second seed Nadal will lock horns with home hope Frances Tiafoe on Monday. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has won both matches in straight sets against the 22nd seed American so far. Tiafoe is yet to break the Spaniard's serve.

Also Checkout:- US Open 2022 Results

How was your holiday weekend? NBD, just met Rafa, on Arthur Ashe Stadium. 🤩#USOpen | @RafaelNadal https://t.co/siOXKZWAcC

Speaking about his 24-year-old opponent in a press conference on Saturday, Nadal pointed out his strengths and admitted that he will have to raise his level to beat Tiafoe.

"I need to be ready to play and raise my level," Rafael Nadal said. "I think he's playing great. He has improved. He has experience. He's a player who plays with a lot of passion, a lot of energy. He can play very aggressively. I mean, he's a player that I'm not going to win against if I'm not playing well. It's going to be a very important test for me."

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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