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By Chris Oddo | Saturday October 31, 2015

 
Nadal Basel

Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the Basel final with a straight-sets win over Richard Gasquet.

Photo Source: Harold Cunningham/Getty

Rafael Nadal battled his way into the Swiss Indoors Final on Saturday, and tied a legend in the process.

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Nadal’s 6-4, 7-6(7) victory over Richard Gasquet places the Spaniard even with Pete Sampras for career wins at 762. The pair now share the No. 9 spot on the list, and Nadal will bid to pass him on Sunday when he meets either Jack Sock or Roger Federer in the final.

Nadal defeated Gasquet for the 14th consecutive time on Saturday, battling back from behind in both sets to claim his victory in two hours and five minutes.

The first set was a tricky one for Nadal. He fell behind 2-0 and tweaked his right knee in the fifth game. He tested the knee briefly on court before continuing play and sought treatment twice at the changeover, getting a tape job on the second visit.

He seemed to be no worse for the wear during the remainder of the match.

Nadal would rally from 4-2 down in set one, taking the final four games of the set to claim the opener. He ripped a vintage inside-out forehand winner to break for the set on his third set point.

Nadal was behind again 2-0 again in set two, and this time Gasquet held on long enough to serve for the set but was broken promptly for 5-5. After the pair traded breaks to force a tiebreaker, Gasquet rallied from 4-1 down to lead 6-4, but Nadal stormed back to save both set points.


Two points later Nadal had his first match point but Gasquet was not done fighting. The Frenchman launched a down-the-line backhand winner to save it, but Nadal would convert his second match point shortly thereafter.

Nadal has won 32 of 36 sets in their fourteen encounters. Nadal ties Roger Federer for third on the ATP’s 2015 win list with 56 with his victory (Federer is in action later today) and books his spot in his 98th career final.

 

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