Nadal swats aside Gasquet to march on at Roland Garros


Although the Frenchwoman is now covering her 32nd French Open, she says working at Roland Garros in Paris is still a privilege.

The Spaniard was already the favourite to defend his French Open crown but now that plenty of seeds have fallen in Paris, the path is clear for him to secure an 11th title in Paris.

Nadal was at his most overpowering best as he mercilessly shoved Richard Gasquet out of his way with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 triumph that gave him a flawless present for his 32nd birthday today and only served to make him an ever-firmer favourite to yet again lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires a week today.

French No 1 Lucas Pouille, who had defeated Cameron Norrie in the second round, resumed his third-round match against Karen Khachanov trailing by two sets and the Russian completed a 6-3 7-5 6-3 success, which sees him meet second seed Alexander Zverev next.

"Of course I have won a lot and it can influence my opponents". He looked the more experienced between the two players.

"What I know is I go to the court, and I know that I could very well lose". But with a racket in his hand, Nadal is ruthless with the player he calls "a good friend and a good person".

During her long career, Dubreuil has come to know some of the game's top players very well. Juan Martin del Potro was a victor over former quarterfinalist ALbert Ramos Vinolas 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.

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Fabio Fognini beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Maximilian Marterer won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 against Jurgen Zopp.

Third seed Marin Cilic reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 20th time when he beat American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 34 minutes.

Nadal got off to a flawless start, racing to a 3-0 lead without dropping a single point.

Diego Schwartzman and Kevin Anderson, meanwhile, advanced to the next round after respective wins over Borna Coric and Mischa Zverev.

The Belgian appeared to exchange angry words with his opponent during one changeover after Monfils was given a time violation before running out 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-3 victor. "Do you mind just playing one ball with him?" Novak Djokovic has been shaky at times, too. The Belgian will take on Italy's Marco Cecchinato for a place in the quarter-finals.

Halep, who also lost in the 2014 final, will next face either two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber or Caroline Garcia.

Eighth seed David Goffin won in five tempestuous sets against France's Gael Monfils.