Rafael Nadal hammered Dutch twenty sixth seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4 within the French Open third spherical on Friday to stay on track for a possible mouth-watering showdown in opposition to world primary Novak Djokovic within the quarter-finals.
Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles amongst his 21 majors, the very best amongst males, however the Spaniard was denied final 12 months when he went down within the semi-finals to eventual champion Djokovic.
Across the identical time on close by Court docket Philippe Chatrier, the Serb additionally placed on a prolific show to e-book his spot within the fourth spherical with a 6-3 6-3 6-2 win over Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene to remain within the hunt for a record-equalling twenty first main.
Whereas Djokovic will subsequent meet Argentine Diego Schwartzman, Nadal will tackle Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime earlier than their potential conflict within the final eight.
Van de Zandschulp started the match on a robust footing, breaking Nadal’s serve within the first sport, however the Spaniard’s supply regarded virtually impregnable for the rest of the competition on Court docket Suzanne Lenglen.
In his first profession assembly in opposition to the Dutchman, Nadal dictated phrases from manner behind the baseline, absorbing his opponent’s energy after which bringing out his venomous forehand when required.
Van de Zandschulp, at the moment at a career-high rating of twenty ninth, staged a short fightback within the third set when he received three video games in a row from 4-0 down however Nadal, who will flip 36 subsequent week, had the cushion to not be threatened.
Nadal broke the 26-year-old’s service twice in every of the three units, hit 25 winners whereas holding a lid on his unforced errors. The left-hander closed out the competition with an overhead smash down the center on his second match level.
”I had my probability with a breakpoint for 5-0 then the match was over however he made an ideal second serve,” Nadal stated on courtroom. ”Then I performed a foul sport with my serve and he began to play aggressive and you are feeling a little bit of nerve to complete the match.
”Straight units, it was my greatest match of the match for 2 units and a half.”