Rafa Nadal into French Open quarters without dropping a set

Ruben Holloway
June 7, 2018

Rafael Nadal's grip on the French Open title was in danger of being loosened by the unlikely figure of Diego Schwartzman.

As a outcome of this, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro's match has been moved back to Thursday.

Marterer, enjoying his best run on just his third appearance in the main draw of a major, performed with admirable composure and maturity that belied his 22 years and did force another break midway through the third set but ultimately could do little to halt the Nadal juggernaut. In a match that had several tie-breaks written all over it, the pair were duking it out in a ... tie-break, with the score locked at 5-5 when they were forced off court.

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Nadal patted Marterer sympathetically on the chest at the net after winning on his second match point.

It was a grueling baseline battle right from the start, with no less than 14 break points in the opening set that lasted for well over an hour. Going into the clash at Roland Garros, Nadal had not lost a set at the tournament since his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the last eight in 2015.

The 25-year-old took his third set point with a rasping forehand up the line, after being made to wait when a spectator fell ill in the stands.

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He led 30-15 when play ended at 18:37 BST, returning at 11:00 BST on Thursday to wrap up the set and level in a matter of seconds.

With Halep having outlasted Angelique Kerber on Wednesday, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2, then looked at her coach while pointing to her head, she and Muguruza grace the bracket opposite the all-American match between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, the 2017 US Open finalists who have their own curious paths. As the game was stopped for two minutes, Schwartzman walked back to his mark, amidst a huge cheer from the crowd, and took a set off the King.

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