Nigeria

2018 French Open: Rafael Nadal goes about business as Diego Schwartzman survives

World number one, Rafael Nadal brought up his 900th career win with victory over Germany’s Maximilian Marterer at the Roland-Garros in Paris on Monday.

Nadal, who’s on course for an 11th French Open title, claimed a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) win to reach the quarterfinals.

The Spanish maestro, who turned 32 on Sunday, is now third on the all-time list for most match wins at Grand Slams, moving clear of Jimmy Connors with his 234th.

“I don’t feel old, but I am 32, and I have been here since 2003, so it’s a long way, a lot of years,” said Nadal.

“I started very young. That’s a real thing. But, no, I feel happy to be here. I hope to keep doing this for a while.”

The Spaniard will now play 11th seed 25-year-old Argentine, Diego Schwartzman for a place in the semis.

Schwartzman bounced back from the brink of defeat to outlast South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), 6-2 in nearly four hours to move into the second Grand Slam quarter-final of his career and first at Roland-Garros.

Diego Schwartzman celebrates win over Kevin Anderson.

“I’m not sure how I did that,” Schwartzman said. “I am saying that and repeating it, because I really don’t know how I did it.”

Anderson, last year’s US Open finalist, had served for the match in the third and fourth sets but could not subdue the Argentine. Schwartzman took the fourth-set tiebreak without losing a point before winning the fifth 6-2.

Schwartzman’s countryman, Juan Martin del Potro also advanced to the quarters with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over American ninth seed John Isner.

He will play third seed Marin Cilic, who outlasted 18th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3.

Elsewhere, we were quite unfortunate not to witness a crunch fourth round showdown between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova as the former had to withdraw due to arm injury.

Maria Sharapova, who said she was disappointed to not to face Serena Williams, will next play Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who progressed to the quarterfinals after Lesia Tsurenko retired with injury in the first set, with the Spaniard 2-0 up.

Meanwhile, world number one, Simona Halep stayed on track for a maiden Grand Slam with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win over Belguim’s Elise Mertens. Halep will face two-time Grand Slam champion, Angelique Kerber for a place in the semis.

Kerber defeated seventh-seeded Frenchwoman, Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3.

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