French Open 2018: Defending champion Nadal eases into last 16

Spain's Rafael Nadal in action. Reuters

Spain's Rafael Nadal in action. Reuters

He has won 12 consecutive matches at Roland Garros; the last loss was against Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals.

"Nadal, who is bidding to clinch his 11th French Open" French Open trophy, will match Margaret Court's all-time record for most singles titles at the same Grand Slam event if he lifts the title again.

Rafa Nadal powered past his old friend Richard Gasquet as the 10-time Roland Garros champion bulldozed past the local favourite 6-3 6-2 6-2 to reach the French Open last 16 on Saturday.

On Day 7 of Roland Garros, Garbiñe Muguruza, Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber are among the players taking to the court as we take a look at an action-packed order of play. Bertens' success story has seen her produce some of the most stunning numbers on this surface and she has been one of the most consistent clay-court specialists over recent years, which is why I would give her the slight edge in this match-up.

"He's playing well. He won very easy today, no?". But with a racket in his hand, Nadal is ruthless with the player he calls "a good friend and a good person".

He says "she knows she's playing well, so she's ready".

Earlier, she reached the fourth round with a dominant 6-2 6-1 win against Karolina Pliskova.

"You have a lot of fans around the world but this ball kid is your biggest fan and it is his dream to play just one ball against you at Roland Garros", she told the top seed.




Marin Cilic has moved into the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the 20th time, eliminating Steve Johnson of the USA 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

David Goffin saved four match points to close out his third-round tussle with Gael Monfils in just short of four hours after it was carried over from Friday. Stephens next faces Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who won 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) against No. 8-seeded Petra Kvitova.

The 64th-ranked Mischa lost in the third round to 2017 US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Saturday.

"You know it, you have to hold on for all points".

The No. 3-seeded Croat won the 2014 U.S. Open and has reached the final at two of the past three majors - Wimbledon a year ago and the Australian Open in January.

Goffin next plays Marco Cecchinato of Italy. The big-serving Croat next faces No. 18 Fabio Fognini, who beat Kyle Edmund, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

On tap Sunday, the fourth round begins with Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco colliding for a 15th time.

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