Home / World News / Nadal on course for Djokovic quarter-final

Nadal on course for Djokovic quarter-final

Rafael Nadal has remained on course for a Roland Garros rematch with Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals after brushing aside Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets.

Nadal, the No.5 seed, beat the Dutch No.26 seed 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the French Open third round on Friday.

Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles among his record 21 majors but the Spaniard was denied a 14th last year when he went down in the semi-finals to eventual champion Djokovic.

The world No.1 was also in good form on nearby Court Philippe Chatrier, where he beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-3 6-2.

Djokovic will face Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, who beat Grigor Dmitrov in sraight sets, while Nadal will take on Canadian ninth-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, now coached by his uncle Toni Nadal.

Not that Nadal could foresee a problem. “For me, it’s very simple. He’s my uncle. I don’t think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he’s a professional and he’s with another player.”

The winners of those two matches will meet in mouth-watering quarter-final.

Van de Zandschulp staged a brief fightback in the third set when he won three games in a row from 4-0 down but Nadal, who will turn 36 next week, was not unduly threatened.

“Straight sets, it was my best match of the tournament for two sets and a half,” he said.

Carlos Alcaraz’s meteoric rise continued when the Spanish prodigy produced yet another awe-inspiring performance to outplay American Sebastian Korda 6-4 6-4 6-2 and reach the last 16 of the French Open for the first time.

Facing the only man to beat him on clay this year, the sixth-seeded teenager, who saved a match point in the second round, showed his full range on a packed court Philippe Chatrier – mixing powerful forehands with gravity-defying drop shots.

The 27th-seeded Korda threw everything at his opponent, only for the ball to come back quicker and with more power and the American faded in the third after a high-octane fight in the first two sets.

“It’s amazing to play in front of such a great crowd in this atmosphere on a night session,” said the 19-year-old Alcaraz, who stunned the crowd with some serve and volleying.

“I’m having fun, I love playing tennis on such great courts, I love playing in France. Serve and volley is a weapon that I have so I use it.”

Alexander Zverev muscled his way into the fourth round with a no-nonsense 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over American Brandon Nakashima.

It was a welcome change for the German third seed, who had to save a match point in a five-set thriller in the previous round at Roland Garros.

“I raised my level a lot today, it was a different match. I prefer this. This is much better for me, I don’t lose too much hair. The atmosphere was amazing,” said Zverev.

He will face Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who reached the fourth round at a slam for the first time by beating American 23rd seed John Isner 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3.

Karen Khachanov became the first man at this year’s French Open to eliminate an opponent seeded in the top 12, beating No.10 Cameron Norrie 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-4 in the third round.

The 21st-seeded Khachanov improved to 5-0 in third-round matches at Roland Garros, although he only has reached the quarterfinals in Paris once, in 2019.

With AP

About brandsauthority

Check Also

‘Voting on the principles,’ Albo calls out Voice criticisers

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will share insight into the proposed First Nations Voice to parliament …

%d bloggers like this: