Rafael Nadal hammered Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open third round on Friday.
Nadal stays on course for possible Djokovic clash in quarter-finals in Paris (AP Photo)
- Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect set record at Roland Garros
- Nadal moved to the fourth round to face Felix Auger-Aliassime
- Nadal scripted dominant 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Botic van de Zandschulp
Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect set record at Roland Garros with a dominant 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Botic van de Zandschulp. Nadal moved to the fourth round to face Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(3), 7-6(2), 7-5 in a match that concluded minutes before the Spaniard’s.
Auger-Aliassime is coached by Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, in addition to Frederic Fontang. “Uncle Toni” coached his nephew Nadal from childhood and was a part of his team until stepping away in 2017.
Nadal broke the 26-year-old’s service twice in each of the three sets, hit 25 winners while keeping a lid on his unforced errors. The left-hander closed out the contest with an overhead smash down the middle on his second match point.
“I had my chance with a breakpoint for 5-0, then match was over but he made a great second serve,” Nadal said on court. “Then I played a bad game with my serve and he started to play aggressive and you feel a bit of nerves to finish the match.
“Straight sets, it was my best match of the tournament for two sets and a half.”
This win kept Nadal on course for a potential mouth-watering showdown against World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles among his 21 majors — the highest among men — but the Spaniard was denied last year when he went down in the semi-finals to eventual champion Djokovic.