Nadal cruises into fourth round of French Open

Nadal is through to the second week following another straight-set beatdown, this one even more dominant than the first two. The Spaniard dazzled the Paris crowd with 27 winners over 90 minutes as he continued his march to a 10th French Open title. Nadal had an easy match as he beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-1 6-0.

Novak Djokovic's desire has been called into question time and time again during his fall from grace but the defending champion showed there is still fire in the belly at the French Open on Friday.

The presence of new coach Andre Agassi has yet to inspire the 12-time Grand Slam champion to rediscover the form that made him a seemingly untouchable world number one this time a year ago.

Nine-time champion Nadal played his 100th best-of-five sets match on clay on Friday against Basilashvili.

Djokovic said: "I expected a hard match with a lot of baseline rallies because the conditions are very heavy".

"It was awesome for me-[after] the match with the crowd, all the people here", Schwartzman reflected. This victory was another improbable comeback by the Frenchwoman to reach the second week of the Grand Slam at home for the first time. "My returns were really good (and) tactically I think I played well".

Williams, who turns 37 this month, didn't get much of a test during a 6-3, 6-1 victory over 60th-ranked Elise Mertens of Belgium that lasted just over an hour.

"So, I think mentally it will affect me in a positive way".

Similar backhand errors cost him the second and third sets too, as he lost the match 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur moved into the fourth round by smothering the serve of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Fourth seed Muguruza kept up her side of the bargain with a dogged performance on the main showcourt.

Nadal, meanwhile, celebrates his 31st birthday on Saturday. Nadal hopes the quarterfinals of a grand slam for the fourth time since 2015. I'm playing well. I'm happy with the way I was able to start today. "(It) was a great match for me, no?"

Canada's Milos Raonic also reached the last 16 after his opponent, Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, retired due to a thigh injury.

Argentine Zeballos advanced in unfortunate circumstances, Goffin having been forced to retire while 5-4 up in the first set of their contest.

- The Canadian was leading 6-1 1-0 when the Spaniard retired at the changeover.

In women's singles Garbine Muguruza showed glimpses of the form that had propelled her to her first Major championship here a year ago.

Goffin was serving for the first set and led 40-0 but allowed Zeballos back into the game.

Goffin caught his foot under the tarp that was folded at the back of the court while chasing down a ball behind the baseline.

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza both play Friday in the third round of the French Open.

  • Julie Sanders