French Open round up: Nadal imperious in Paris as Djokovic battles through
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal advanced to the fourth round of the French Open in sharply contrasting fashion on Friday, the Serbian reigning champion battling hard to avoid an upset after his long-term rival produced another exhibition of Roland Garros mastery.
Nadal annihilated Nikoloz Basilashvili as he targets a 10th title in Paris and 15th overall, but it was a very different affair for Djokovic, who twice had to come from behind to beat Diego Schwartzman in a five-set thriller.
David Goffin and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez both retired hurt and Grigor Dimitrov bowed out, but Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem remain in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.
TWO BAGELS AND A BAGUETTE FOR RAFA
If Nadal is the King of Clay, Roland Garros must be his favourite palace. And the Spaniard held court in supremely commanding fashion on Friday, beating the unfortunate Basilashvili 6-0 6-1 6-0, the most comprehensive victory of his illustrious career at the grand slam venue in Paris.
Georgian Basilashvili could only hit five winners in the match, which lasted – by slam standards – a particularly brisk 94 minutes.
“The score is quite embarrassing but I have to accept it,” said Basilashvili, before departing the throne room, as Roberto Bautista Agut prepares to petition the sovereign in the fourth round, having seen off Jiri Vesely in straight sets.
75e victoire pour Rafa à Roland-Garros