Sunday, June 4, 2017 4:48 pm
Rafael Nadal continued in his superb form on Sunday with a dominant 6-1 6-2 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista Agut to move easily into the French Open quarter-finals.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 31-year-old Spaniard is looking to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam event.
Sunday’s victory was not quite as simple as Friday’s incredible 6-0 6-1 6-0 crushing of Nikoloz Basilashvili, but the fact that Nadal is yet to drop a set speaks volumes.
Margaret Court is the only player to have won 10 or more titles at one Grand Slam event, winning the Australian Open on 11 occasions between 1960 and 1973.
The nine-time winner Nadal, who will now face either Milos Raonic or Pablo Busta in the last eight, now has a 76-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros.
The only defeats for the fourth seed have come against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals.
It is the 11th time he has reached the quarter-finals at the French Open — a record shared with Roger Federer.
World number two Djokovic could match that record when he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas later on Sunday.
Djokovic and Nadal are however seeded to meet in the semi-finals.
In other matches, Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori survived a scare to beat unseeded South Korean Hyeon Chung in five sets.
The 27-year-old Nishikori needed almost four hours to win 7-5 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 0-6 6-4 in a third-round match finished on Sunday after the previous day’s rain delay.
“I think the rain helped me a lot, because I was really down in the fourth set and mentally I wasn’t ready,” said Nishikori, whose only Grand Slam final appearance came when he lost at the 2014 US Open.
“I knew I had to change something to beat him, so I think I made some adjustments to make it a little better than yesterday.’’
Big-serving American John Isner, who was seed number 21, was knocked out in his third-round match by Karen Khachanov of Russia, who won 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3).
The 21-year-old will now face British world number one Andy Murray in the fourth round on Monday.
French 15th seed Gael Monfils reached the fourth round for a seventh time when compatriot Richard Gasquet withdrew from their rain-delayed match with a thigh injury.
The 30-year-old Monfils won 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 4-3 to set up a last-16 meeting with third seed Stan Wawrinka.(NAN)