Rafa Nadal Is Through To The Fourth Round Of The French Open

Russia's Maria Sharapova in action. Reuters

Russia's Maria Sharapova in action. Reuters

Rafael Nadal has fulfilled a young ballboy's dream after offering up a racquet and playing a rally with him on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

But Nadal was in no mood for a marathon and he bagged the first set on serve before putting Gasquet to the sword again at the beginning of the second and third sets, making sure there was no hope of a comeback amongst the Frenchman's supporters.

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Marin Cilic has moved into the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the 20th time, eliminating Steve Johnson of the US 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. "That's it. I do my best every time", he said.

Ninth-seeded John Isner is the last American left in the French Open men's singles after eliminating the last Frenchman standing.

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With clubbing forehands, Nadal streaked ahead 4-0 in the second set and did the same in the third, before Gasquet finally held serve after a long fifth game.

Halep performed remarkably in into the last-32 of the tournament after easing past America's Taylor Townsend in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. He will try to reach a major quarterfinal for the first time, facing No 2-seeded Alexander Zverev next.

Nadal was then untouchable on serve during the next two sets, with his serve never once in danger, while he broke his rival's serve two times in each set.

The 31-year-old Russian, seeded 28th after missing this tournament the last two years, needed 59 minutes to win on Court Philippe Chatrier. And he did on the anniversary of the Swiss' iconic win in Paris against him.That win sealed one of the best matches ever played in this sport's history and made Federer stop the Serb's remarkable unbeaten run at 43 consecutive matches. He will face No. 18 Fabio Fognini next.

Sixth seed Kevin Anderson is a potential quarter-final opponent for Nadal after beating Mischa Zverev 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4).

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Djokovic won the tournament in 2011, 2014 and 2015 but has failed to make it beyond the quarter-finals in the past two years. The 10th seed produced a clinical performance to down Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier, firing 17 winners.

The Zverevs could have been just the third pair of brothers to reach the round of 16 at the same major in the 50-year Open era.

There was more French despair in the delayed match between Belgian eighth seed David Goffin and France's Gael Monfils, who squandered four match points before losing a closely-fought encounter.

Fognini, the 2015 Australian Open champion had taken the first set 6-3 but Briton Edmund recovered well to give himself a 2-1 lead with 6-4 and 6-3 wins in the second and third sets respectively.

Top-seeded Simona Halep, last year's runner-up, won 7-5 6-0 against Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

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