Nadal on track for Djokovic . quarterfinal

Rafael Nadal has stayed on track for a Roland Garros rematch with Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals after overthrowing Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets.

Nadal, the number 5 seed, defeated the Dutch number 26 seed 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the French Open third round on Friday.

Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles under his record of 21 majors, but the Spaniard was denied a 14th last year when he lost to eventual champion Djokovic in the semi-final.

The world number one was also in good form at nearby Court Philippe Chatrier, beating Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-3 6-2.

Djokovic then takes on Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman – who defeated Grigor Dmitrov in straight sets – while Nadal takes on Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, now coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal.

The winners of those two matches will meet in the delightful quarterfinals.

Van de Zandschulp fought back briefly in the third set when he won three games in a row from 4-0 behind, but Nadal, who turns 36 next week, was not unnecessarily threatened.

“Straight sets, it was my best game of the tournament in two and a half sets,” he said.

Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles reached the fourth round in a grand slam for the first time by beating American 23rd seed John Isner 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 in a match which lasted nearly three and a half hours.

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