Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal on Saturday extended his dominance over local favourite Richard Gasquet, earning a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win in the French Open third round.
The “King of Clay” needed nearly two hours to defeat the Frenchman for the 16th time in as many career matches, extending his set winning streak at Roland Garros to 34.
Sweden’s Bjorn Borg holds the record for most consecutive sets won at the French Open, with 41 sets between 1979 and 1981.
Nadal’s current streak dates back to the start of the 2016 tournament when he was forced to withdraw due to a wrist injury prior to his third-round match.
Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza and Russia’s Maria Sharapova earned a place in the French Open round of 16 after winning their respective games on Saturday.
Sharapova thrashed Czech Republic’s Karoline Pliskova 6-2, 6-1 in the 59-minute game.
Two-time French Open champion Sharapova committed a total of 19 unforced errors, one more than the number of winners she fired, but Pliskova lent her a hand by making 15 mistakes to only five winners.
Sharapova conceded her service game once in the first set, but managed to break her rival’s three times to move a set closer to victory.
Without facing a single break point, Sharapova made the most of two break points out of three opportunities to sail into the round of 16.
Participating in the tournament for the first time since 2015 due to a 15-month ban over a doping violation, Sharapova is set to play either the United States’ Serena Williams or Germany’s Julia Goerges.
Earlier in the day, Muguruza outclassed veteran Australian player Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-2.
The 2016 French open champion needed just 62 minutes to earn her third career win in a row against Stosur out of four matches.
The unseeded Australian, world No. 90, was the French Open finalist in 2010, a three-time semi-finalist and the winner of the US Open in 2011.
Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016, is set to play the next round against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine, who beat Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-4.