Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal made it a half century of Grand Slam fourth-round entries when the 13-time French Open champion overcame Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to secure a pre-quarterfinals berth here on Saturday.
Only Swiss ace Roger Federer (67) and Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic (54) are ahead of the Spaniard world No. 3 in the number of fourth-round appearances in a Grand Slam.
The 35-year-old Nadal, who is 103-2 at Roland Garros, will play 19th seed Italian Jannik Sinner for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Sinner got the better of Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 to make it to the pre-quarterfinals.
Earlier on Saturday, Djokovic continued his quest for a 19th Grand Slam title as he breezed into the French Open pre-quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in one hour and 32 minutes.
Djokovic will next meet 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who survived a five-setter against compatriot and 2018 semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and seven minutes.
This was the first five-setter of Musetti’s career.
Djokovic, 34, produced high-quality tennis on way to the last 16 in Paris for a record 12th consecutive year. The Serbian, who won the French Open title in 2016, improved his match record for this year to 23-3.
He struck 30 winners and lost just five of his first-service points for his fourth straight win against world No. 93 Berankis.
Djokovic, who could face Swiss star Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, has so far won the Australian Open and Belgrade Open titles this year besides finishing runners-up at the Italian Open in Rome, where he lost to Nadal.