Novak Djokovic remains on a collision course with Rafael Nadal at the French Open after easing past Karen Khachanov and into the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

The world number one missed out on grand slam glory at the US Open after being defaulted for inadvertently hitting a ball at a line judge in his fourth-round match with Pablo Carreno Busta.

A potential reunion with Carreno Busta, who faces Daniel Altmaier in the fourth round, beckons in the last eight for Djokovic after a straight-sets win in a high-quality contest with Khachanov.

Djokovic prevailed 6-4 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 23 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier and has yet to drop a set at the tournament this year.

Khachanov's only victory over Djokovic in their previous four meetings came in Paris in the final of the ATP Masters 1000 event in 2018.

There was rarely any sign of such an upset this time around, though Khachanov did display impressive resilience to immediately break back at 5-3 down with Djokovic serving for the first set.

He wasted the chance to at least push the opener to a tie-break, however, a double fault handing the set to Djokovic, who was in full control thereafter.

Khachanov did offer admirable resistance, the 15th seed more than playing his part in an entertaining encounter as he managed to trouble the Djokovic serve in each set.

However, a break back after dropping the opening game of the third proved his last act of defiance as Djokovic won four of the last five games to move into his 14th Roland Garros quarter-final, tying defending champion Nadal for the most in the history of the tournament.

Data slam: Djokovic's net mastery

Djokovic relied heavily on the drop shot throughout as he attempted to work Khachanov around the court. It was a tactic that paid dividends, with its success reflected by Djokovic winning 66 per cent of his net points. He also hit 44 winners to Khachanov's 31.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 44/28
Khachanov - 31/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 2/1
Khachanov - 5/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 6/15
Khachanov - 2/9

Jannik Sinner became the first French Open debutant to reach the quarter-finals since Rafael Nadal in 2005, as the highly rated Italian beat Alexander Zverev to set up a clash with the 'King of Clay'.

Nadal had earlier made light work of Sebastian Korda to book his passage to the next round, dropping just four games in three sets as he comfortably dispatched his 20-year-old opponent.

The Spaniard is going for a 13th title in the French capital and, while he was clearly a cut above, Korda's 48 unforced errors certainly aided his cause on Sunday.

But the day belonged to 19-year-old Sinner, who looks destined for big things.

SINNER THROUGH BUT ZVEREV IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner was in electrifying form on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Sinner converted five of his six chances to break Zverev, who appeared curiously underwhelming on the day. He hit just 20 winners, a little over half of Sinner's 39, highlighting the gulf in decisiveness.

In claiming victory, Sinner became the youngest male player to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 14 years and he felt that, having trained with Zverev on occasion in the past, he was well prepared.

"It has been tough. We have practiced sometimes in Monaco, so we know [each other] quite well," said Sinner on court. "Today was very tough, knowing that it was going to be a long match. At the end, I am very happy about my performance."

But Zverev controversially revealed after the match that he had been suffering with a fever and that he should not have even taken to the court.

The German claimed he had tested negative for coronavirus, though he did not specify when his most recent test was.

NADAL AWARE OF HIS EXCELLENCE

As he prepares for his quarter-final with Sinner, Nadal is well aware he is in imperious form.

Korda offered little resistance on the whole as the second seed ran out a 6-1 6-1 6-2 victor against a player who idolised him growing up – so much so he even named his cat 'Rafa'.

And although the American got his claws into Nadal with a couple of early break chances, the favourite was soon purring and took just 40 minutes to take a one-set lead.

Nadal only struck nine winners over the first two sets, but Korda's error count continued to rise and give his opponent a boost.

The 19-time major champion was left feeling pretty good about his form afterwards as well.

"Well, I'm in the quarter-finals without losing a set and having very positive scores. So, I can't complain at all. So, I'm happy for that," he said.

He then went on to consider the threat posed by Sinner, adding: "He's young, he's improving every single week. So, he's playing better and better and better. It will be a big challenge. It will be the first time playing against him on the tour. I practiced with him a couple of times, he has an amazing potential, he moves the hand very quick and he's able to produce amazing shots."

THIEM FIGHTS BACK

Third seed Dominic Thiem had to dig deep to see off Hugo Gaston in five after throwing away a two-set lead against the world number 239.

Eventually Thiem progressed 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3, emerging victorious after just over three and a half hours on court.

French wildcard Gaston received a standing ovation from his home support on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with the fans enamoured with the underdog as he pushed one last year's runner-up all the way.

Thiem acknowledged that he was fortunate to come through the test.

"I think I stayed pretty calm even though it was a tough match mentally, physically. I just read before that he played 58 drop shots. I think only three or four of them went into the net, so I made more than 50 full sprints to the net. So that was really, really tough," he said.

Up next for Thiem is a quarter-final with Diego Schwartzman, one of his closest allies on the ATP Tour, with the Argentinian seeing off Lorenzo Sonego with relative ease 6-1 6-3 6-4.

"I'm happy of course to face one of my best friends from the tour in the quarter-finals," Thiem added.

"From my perspective, it's all about recovery. I'm not running on a full tank anymore. That's for sure.  So, I try to recover as good as I can. If I'm able to do that, if somehow I don't make it until Tuesday, I think he's going to be the heavy favourite."

Alexander Zverev has revealed he was suffering with a fever during his French Open defeat to Jannik Sinner. 

Highly rated Italian Sinner became the first player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros on his tournament debut, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 to progress. 

But Zverev's post-match comments have taken the spotlight from Sinner, as the German claimed he was playing despite showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players are expected to undergo regular coronavirus tests, socially distance where possible and wear a mask when not on court. 

Competition rules state a player will be removed from the draw if they come into contact with a player or entourage member who has tested positive for the virus. 

Zverev said any tests he has done have been negative, likewise those in his circle, though he accepts he should not have played on Sunday. 

He said: "I am completely sick after the match with [Marco] Cecchinato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I'm completely sick. 

"I can't really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well. Yeah, I'm not in the best physical state, I would say. 

"I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today." 

Zverev added: "To be honest, I warmed up today. I shouldn't have played. But I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that, but I knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to be easy." 

But when asked in the English section of the news conference about when he last had a coronavirus test, Zverev took issue with the journalist asking the question. 

"I'm not answering your questions. There is no chance I'm answering your questions from what you have been writing about me over the past months. Absolutely no chance," he said.

Alexander Zverev has revealed he was suffering with a fever during his French Open defeat to Jannik Sinner. 

Highly rated Italian Sinner became the first player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros on his tournament debut, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 to progress. 

But Zverev's post-match comments have taken the spotlight from Sinner, as the German claimed he was playing despite showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players are expected to undergo regular coronavirus tests, socially distance where possible and wear a mask when not on court. 

Competition rules state a player will be removed from the draw if they come into contact with a player or entourage member who has tested positive for the virus. 

Zverev said any tests he has done have been negative, likewise those in his circle, though he accepts he should not have played on Sunday. 

He said: "I am completely sick after the match with [Marco] Cecchinato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I'm completely sick. 

"I can't really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well. Yeah, I'm not in the best physical state, I would say. 

"I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today." 

Zverev added: "To be honest, I warmed up today. I shouldn't have played. But I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that, but I knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to be easy." 

But when asked in the English section of the news conference about when he last had a coronavirus test, Zverev took issue with the journalist asking the question. 

"I'm not answering your questions. There is no chance I'm answering your questions from what you have been writing about me over the past months. Absolutely no chance," he said.

Rafael Nadal made light work of Sebastian Korda and the strong Paris winds to book his place in the French Open quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-1 6-2 Sunday stroll.

American Korda had never played a main-draw match on clay prior to the tournament and the gulf in class was evident throughout as Nadal barely broke sweat in the swirling gusts.

The 'King of Clay', aiming for a 13th title in the French capital, has dropped just 23 games in four matches thus far but 48 unforced errors from Korda, a huge Nadal supporter growing up, helped his cause on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

"I honestly believe we are looking at a great player, he had some mistakes in important moments but the way he hit the ball is impressive," said a gracious Nadal, who has reached the last eight without dropping a set for the eighth time. "I'm happy to be in the quarter-finals again and [it was] another tough match today."

Korda was such a big fan of Nadal's he named his pet cat 'Rafa' and the giant American got his claws into his opponent early with a couple of break-point chances.

But, having seen them off, Nadal was soon purring. With Korda - who was hindered by 18 first-set errors - struggling in testing conditions, he Spaniard breezed through the opener in just 40 minutes.

Nadal only hit nine winners in the first two sets as Korda's error count continued to creep up but one particularly wonderful textbook forehand down the line set up another break and a two-set lead.

To his credit, Korda made a decent fist of it in the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead early doors, only for an unflappable Nadal to reel off six straight games and coast into the last eight.


Data slam: Nadal punishes error-strewn Korda

It would have taken a huge leap of faith to back Korda in this one but an error count of 48, even accounting for tricky conditions, is a gift you cannot present Nadal no matter how much you admire him.

That Nadal, who won 64 per cent of points at the net and was successful with 72 per cent of second serves, had just 15 winners tells the story of how he did not need to hit top gear.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Nadal - 15/20
Korda - 21/48

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Nadal - 1/1
Korda - 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Nadal - 8/11
Korda - 1/6

Novak Djokovic's stellar year has rolled into the French Open, where he has made the most dominant start of his career.

The world number one crushed Daniel Elahi Galan at Roland Garros on Saturday to ease into the fourth round.

Djokovic is now 34-1 in 2020, and that loss came when he defaulted after hitting a linesperson with a ball in a fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta at the US Open last month.

The Serbian faces a bigger test in the fourth round in Paris, where Russian 15th seed Karen Khachanov awaits.

Djokovic is aiming for history at the French Open as he bids to become the first man in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice.

And he has made an imposing start.

Djokovic showing hard-court dominance on clay

Through three rounds, Djokovic has dropped just 15 games at the French Open.

He has dispatched of Mikael Ymer, Ricardas Berankis and Galan to cruise through the first week.

The 15 games lost is comfortably the most dominant Djokovic has been through the opening three rounds at the tournament. His previous best was 23 in 2012, when he made the final before losing to Rafael Nadal.

It is just the third time in his illustrious career that Djokovic has dropped 15 or fewer games through three rounds – when every match has been completed to that point – at any major. It follows the 2012 Australian Open, when he lost just 10, and the US Open (14) later that year. Djokovic won the title in Melbourne in 2012, but fell to Andy Murray in the final at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic has won 11 of his 17 majors on hard courts, but his dominance at this year's French Open has so far been similar.

Compared to the king

Incredibly, Djokovic's start matches Nadal's best at Roland Garros, where the Spaniard is the undisputed king.

Nadal has won 12 French Open titles in 15 appearances, but only once has he started the way Djokovic has in 2020. That came in 2017, when he also dropped 15 games through three rounds on his way to a 10th French Open crown.

The Spanish great destroyed Benoit Paire, Robin Haase and Nikoloz Basilashvili to begin the tournament three years ago. He won that title losing no more than four games in a set, including thrashing Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals and Stan Wawrinka in the decider.

The 19-time grand slam champion is bidding to equal Roger Federer for the most majors won by a man, and he will always take some stopping in Paris.

Nadal has lost 19 games through three rounds this year, but that is his best start at the tournament since 2017. Lacking match practice amid the coronavirus pandemic, he is looking dangerous yet againi.

Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed his 25th win of the year to progress to the last 16 of the French Open.

The fifth seed became the first Greek player to reach this stage at Roland Garros on multiple occasions after overcoming Aljaz Bedene.

Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov will meet for the first time in the fourth round, with each having had curtailed time on court on Saturday as their respective opponents retired.

Marton Fucsovics set up a showdown with in-form Andrey Rublev, but the day arguably belonged to Daniel Altmaier, whose remarkable run continues after he dispatched world number eight Matteo Berrettini.

 

TSITSIPAS READY FOR REAL TEST

Tsitsipas barely broke sweat as he advanced to the last 16, with Bedene retiring with a foot problem in the third set.

The pair had only been on court for 80 minutes, Tsitsipas having taken a commanding 6-1 6-2 3-1 lead against the clearly hampered Slovenian.

While the match inevitably lost a level of intrigue, the same cannot be said for Tsitsipas at these finals. The 22-year-old, whose personalised face masks have been a hit at the championships, has also made a point of keeping his media duties interesting.

Perhaps that comes in part from the young Tsitsipas' journalistic background. "I was a journalist when I was 11, 12 years old. I had this Facebook page, which I very often updated with news about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic," he explained.

"I was really into it. Every day after school I would check the results, check the current, latest tennis news. I would update it. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed doing it.

"Journalism and press and media, I love this a lot. I do understand how it operates, how it works. So for me, you know, I'm a tennis player, and if something works, I'm on the court the next day  trying to do the same thing. For me sometimes there isn't really much for me to say tactical-wise or match-wise because I'm just trying to follow the things that have been working for me."

Tsitsipas will now meet Dimitrov, who had even less time on court against Roberto Carballes, the Spaniard retiring at 1-6 3-6 down with a little over an hour played.

It is the first time Dimitrov, a semi-finalist at each of the other majors in his career, has reached the second week in Paris.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Altmaier produced the finest two hours and 15 minutes of his career as he defeated Berrettini, a semi-finalist at last year's US Open, in straight sets.

The seventh seed lost 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to the German qualifier, who is ranked 186th in the world and nearly did not compete in Paris due to injury.

"My coach and I have been working so hard to be here, and while I've struggled with a few injuries, I am super-pleased it’s at Roland Garros," said Altmaier, who is just the fifth qualifier since 2000 to reach the last 16 of a men's slam.

"Before qualifying, I was struggling with an injury, so I wasn't sure I was going to play. I hope the crowd and the TV audience enjoyed watching, as I want to entertain."

Next up for Altmaier will be Pablo Carreno Busta – himself a US Open semi-finalist just three weeks ago – after he beat compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-4 in three hours and 22 minutes.

FUCSOVICS READY FOR RUBLEV

Rublev's winning streak stretched to eight matches as he made light work of big-serving Kevin Anderson, winning 6-3 6-2 6-3 in just 94 minutes.

Anderson, the former world number five, hit 33 unforced errors and won just four points on Rublev's first serve as he fell to the Russian.

Rublev will now face Fucsovics, who beat Brazil's Thiago Monteiro 7-5 6-1 6-3. It will be their first meeting since the 2017 Davis Cup, when Fucsovics fought from two sets down to help Hungary to a 3-1 victory.

"We were different players," said Fucsovics. "Right now he's just about to break in the top 10. I got more matured. I have more experience. I'm fit now, fitter than ever. I'm looking forward to playing a good match against him, try to break through finally to the quarter-finals."

Hugo Gaston was the toast of Roland Garros as the young Frenchman announced himself to the tennis world by sinking former champion Stan Wawrinka.

Ranked a lowly 239th in the world, Toulouse-born Gaston was tackling a player who has reached two French Open finals and eyeing a third trip to the title match.

Left-hander Gaston had other ideas though, and in a third-round contest that was halted by rain for over two hours in the third set, he scored a 2-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-0 over the illustrious Swiss.

That victory came on a Friday when 12-time champion Rafael Nadal produced what he described as his best tennis so in his favourite grand slam, as he and Dominic Thiem remained on course for a semi-final showdown.

Lorenzo Sonego won an epic third set tie-break against Taylor Fritz, taking it 19-17 to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time, while his fellow Italian Jannik Sinner and American Sebastian Korda also entered previously uncharted territory in their careers.

GASTON'S BIG MOMENT

Already the last French player standing in the men's singles, the prospect of Gaston ending Wawrinka's hopes looked slim, with the three-time grand slam winner having looked sharp in the first two rounds, beating Andy Murray and the useful German Dominik Koepfer.

Yet Gaston, a wildcard entry who only turned 20 last Saturday, gave French tennis a major shot in the arm with a terrific performance.

He and Wawrinka had to retreat to the locker room at 2-2 in the third set, with the match finely poised, and an immediate break on the resumption from Gaston spoke volumes for his focus.

The deciding set was strangely one-sided, and Gaston, who benefited from 74 unforced errors from the Wawrinka racket, was able to celebrate the greatest moment of his fledgling career.

He said afterwards: "It's crazy what's happening. I tried to play my game, I went on the court to win."

Addressing the small crowd on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, he added: "I didn't necessarily think I would win, but you pushed me. Thank you all."

On the prospect of facing Thiem, Gaston said: "It's going to be a crazy experience. I will do everything to win too."

The ATP revealed Gaston is the lowest-ranked player to reach the fourth round of the French Open since Arnaud Di Pasquale in 2002 achieved the feat when 283rd in the world.

THIEM IN RUUD HEALTH

Thiem, the third seed, dashed to a 6-4 6-3 6-1 win against Norway's Casper Ruud. It was a case of the Austrian making light work of what looked a tricky task against a player who reached semi-finals in Rome and Hamburg before coming to Paris.

He got the job done in two and a quarter hours, and at that stage would have been expecting to face Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Thiem will no doubt do his homework on Gaston before they play, with the recently crowned US Open champion targeting a third visit to the French Open final, having been runner-up in each of the last two years.

"Of course I'm starting to feel all the last weeks physically, also emotionally," Thiem said. "I really love this tournament, and I would love to go deep to play well. I'll do everything to get a good recovery."

RAFA BEGINNING TO PURR

A 96th match win at Roland Garros from Nadal came moments after Gaston's thunder-stealing moment.

He swept away the hopes of Italian Stefano Travaglia, a 6-1 6-4 6-0 victory emphasising the form Nadal is running into, having delayed his post-lockdown return to action and skipped the US Open.

Next for Nadal is Korda, and the son of former French Open runner-up Petr Korda revealed that as a youngster he had a pet cat Rafa, named after the Spanish great.

"That says a lot about how much I love the guy," Korda said.

Responding to that bombshell, Nadal said: "Well, that means that I have been on the TV for such a long time, that's the main thing. The same like when I was a kid, I was watching Sampras, Agassi, Carlos Moya.

"Another negative thing is that it means I'm 34. That's another point that is not beautiful. But I'm happy to hear that. I know he's playing great. He's a very young kid with a lot of power. I think he has an amazing future - hopefully not yet."

Rafael Nadal steamed through to the French Open fourth round as he fended off Stefano Travaglia on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Italian Travaglia has a surname that translates to mean 'troubles', but Nadal was given no real cause for concern in a 6-1 6-4 6-0 victory.

Such was his control that the Spaniard won 82 per cent of points on his second serve, higher than his first-serve rate.

"I played my best match so far this year at Roland Garros. I hope I can play this way until the end," Nadal said in an on-court interview.

These early rounds are more important than usual for Nadal, who arrived in France short of match activity after sitting out the Western and Southern Open and the US Open.

Although he returned to action at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, that was his first tournament since February, and a quarter-final exit to Diego Schwartzman was a worrying setback for the greatest clay-court player in history.

Step by step, Nadal is going through the gears in Paris, the 12-time champion inching towards the form that has brought him such rich rewards on previous visits to the French capital.

To win a 13th title at this tournament, which would move him level with Roger Federer's all-time men's record of 20 career grand slams, Nadal is likely to have to beat Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals and Novak Djokovic in the title match.

Travaglia had some spark to his game, and he played a number of clever shots that made the second set a contest, but few have ever had the tools to stop Nadal on this surface and the world number 74 was inevitably found wanting.

Next for Nadal is a last-16 clash with Sebastian Korda, the American son of former French Open runner-up Petr Korda.

Data slam: Volley good show from Nadal

It ended with a volley, and Nadal was often coming in close, winning 19 of 23 points where he attacked the net. He won six of seven break points and said afterwards that it was his most aggressive performance so far this fortnight. The serving is looking good, he remains a baseline master, and the fact Nadal is marauding front and back of the court augurs well for what lies ahead.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Nadal - 28/13
Travaglia - 13/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Nadal - 2/0
Travaglia - 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Nadal - 6/7
Travaglia - 0/0

Novak Djokovic needed just an hour and 23 minutes to swat aside the challenge of Ricardas Berankis at the French Open and reach a new career milestone.

A 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory was as ruthless and rapid as the scoreline suggests, with Djokovic racing through to the third round.

They had played twice before, and Berankis tested Djokovic before losing in two tight sets at August's Masters 1000 tournament in New York.

But Thursday's match produced exactly the same scoreline as in their first clash, seven years ago in the first round of the US Open, and showed the gulf between the world number one and the player ranked 66th on the men's tour.

Victory means Djokovic racked up a 70th win in singles action at Roland Garros, having already reached that mark at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

His French Open wins tally has now equalled that of Roger Federer, who is absent this year as he recovers from knee surgery. Djokovic and Federer sit joint second on the all-time list for the most wins in the men's singles at Roland Garros, behind clear leader Rafael Nadal, who has chalked up 95 victories in 97 matches.

Court Philippe-Chatrier has seen Djokovic come and go quickly in both his matches so far, with the thrashing of Berankis completed in 15 fewer minutes than it took the Serbian to see off Sweden's Mikael Ymer in round one.

Rafael Nadal feels Serena Williams' withdrawal from the French Open is "very sad news for tennis" and has backed her to make a strong recovery.

Williams, 39, has been struggling with an Achilles injury since reaching the semi-finals at the US Open.

Despite gutting out a first-round win over Kristie Ahn on Monday, the 23-time grand slam champion could not take to the court against Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday after acknowledging she was struggling to walk.

Williams told reporters her 2020 season is most likely over and while Nadal knows injury comebacks are harder in the latter stages of a player's career, he is hopeful the American will be back at her best before too long.

"I don't want to speculate how bad is the injury or not when I don't know," he told reporters after thrashing Williams' compatriot Mackenzie McDonald in his second-round match.

"Of course, it is very sad news for tennis, for Roland Garros, and especially for her. Sorry for her. 

"I can just wish her a fast and good recovery. It is true that all the comebacks are tough, especially when you get a little bit older - every time is more difficult.

"She showed amazing passion for this sport. I really believe that she will be good in the next couple of months."

Williams had tried to hide the extent of her injury during her first match in Paris this week and Nadal was asked whether he had ever been in the same situation.

"Well, you don't want to show that [you have an injury] if you really believe that you can keep going," added Nadal. "You don't have to give advantages to the others, no?

"Of course, when you are suffering pain, but you really believe that maybe you win that match, then you can improve little bit for the next couple of matches with the doctor or the staff after that victory, then is normal that you are not showing anything to the world. 

"Then if you can't keep going, that is the moment to go and say, 'You know, guys, I can't any more'. That's it. 

"That is, for example, what happened to me in 2016. I think I had to pull out in the third after the first two rounds.

"I won two matches. I didn't say much to the people, but I was playing with an infiltration. I knew the wrist was in trouble, but I wanted to give myself a chance. 

"Then the wrist goes worse. That's a moment to come to the press and say, 'Guys, you know what, I can't keep going. I have to go back home’. Honestly, these are very tough moments."

Ruthless Rafael Nadal only dropped four games as he made light work of Mackenzie McDonald to move into the French Open third round.

It took the second seed, who is seeking a record-extending 13th title in Paris, just one hour and 40 minutes to record a 6-1 6-0 6-3 victory on Wednesday.

American McDonald was outclassed in his first career meeting against Nadal and proved unable to force a single break-point opportunity.

Nadal's opponent in the next round will be either Stefano Travaglia or Kei Nishikori.

A brutal backhand winner in the fourth game gave Nadal a first-set advantage and he added a second break before a crisp forehand wrapped up the opener.

McDonald had one winner and 11 unforced errors in a second set that Nadal claimed without any resistance.

He stopped the rot by winning his first game in 12 attempts at the start of the third set, only to lose his next service game when he drifted a backhand off target to put the Spaniard on the brink of victory.

Nadal had to wait to seal victory but the winning moment always looked sure to arrive, ultimately coming in game nine as he dug out a backhand winner to earn a double break and covert his first match point to conclude a comfortable afternoon.

Data slam: Nadal was impressive at the net, winning 13 of 16 points – including all six in an emphatic second set that demoralised McDonald, who won on eight of his 14 trips to the middle of the court.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 31/15
McDonald – 17/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 1/4
McDonald – 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 7/8
McDonald – 0/0

Novak Djokovic set his sights on French Open glory after thrashing Mikael Ymer in the first round on Tuesday.

The Serbian, seeking to put his US Open disqualification firmly behind him, made an early statement of intent with a 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It took Djokovic one hour, 38 minutes to get the job done, with Ricardas Berankis awaiting in the second round.

And the world number one is determined to chase down a second crown at Roland Garros, having triumphed in 2016.

"I'm ready physically, mentally, emotionally to go deep in the tournament," said Djokovic.

"Hopefully I can have another successful year here in Paris. 2016 was a dream come true.

"Obviously the only French Open title I have won in my career, and it was a very long anticipated title."

 

TSITSIPAS AND RUBLEV, UNITED AGAIN BY FIVE-SETTERS

Two days after they went head to head in the Hamburg European Open final, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were back in action in Paris.

And both at one stage looked in serious danger of first-round exits, with their efforts of the past week in Germany seemingly catching up on the seeded pair.

Rublev, who got the better of Tsitsipas in Hamburg, trailed Sam Querrey by two sets on Tuesday. Tsitsipas also slumped two sets behind in his clash with Spain's Jaume Munar.

But both staged spectacular fightbacks, with Russian 13th seed Rublev edging out American Querrey 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4 6-3 and Greek fifth seed Tsitsipas prevailing 4-6 2-6 6-1 6-4 6-4.

"Although I started well, I was kind of switched off again later during the first set," Tsitsipas said. "Whatever I was trying to do, most of my shots were landing out and nothing was going my way.

"It was crazy what was happening out there, and I couldn't find any solutions. I feel like I was just turning down the hill, and I'm happy that I took my time.

"I started thinking a little bit more. Started figuring out why I was rushing so much and why I was going for extreme things. After a bit of processing and thinking, I think that helped settle things down and have a fresh new start of the match."

Rublev accepted his display against Querrey was dismal, saying: "I was feeling completely tight. I choke another level. From the first point of the match till the last match of the match I was completely frozen. I couldn't do one step, I could only hit, I was tight like I don't know."

 

BERRETTINI FEELING OLD...AT 24!

Matteo Berrettini breezed past Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-1 6-3 before railing against the relentless march of time.

At just 24, the Italian is already feeling like a veteran after seeing the impressive exploits of compatriots Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti, who are both teenagers.

"Now it's crazy. Until last year I was the young one," exclaimed Berrettini, who faces Lloyd Harris in round two.

"Now these two are with big steps stepping in. I mean, my career is completely different compared to theirs. They started really young.

"This is my third Roland Garros, and I'm 24. Probably them at 24, they would have played already maybe six Roland Garros. It's definitely different."

 

GASQUET AND SIMON LEAD FRENCH CASUALTIES

Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov was tested by experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon but won through 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-3, while 18th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov drubbed another Frenchman in Gregoire Barrere, landing a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win.

Roberto Bautista Agut added to the French misery, sinking fellow veteran Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-1, and lesser-known players also exited their home grand slam as Ugo Humbert, Quentin Halys and Harold Mayot also bowed out.

Novak Djokovic began his bid for French Open glory with an emphatic first-round victory over Mikael Ymer.

The Serbian triumphed 6-0 6-2 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier in just 98 minutes.

After winning a match that saw him convert nine of 11 break points, Djokovic will meet Ricardas Berankis or Hugo Dellien in the second round.

As he looks to put his US Open disqualification for inadvertently hitting the ball at a line judge behind him, Djokovic is seen as the main challenger to 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, who had started his tournament with a straight-sets win a day earlier.

The first-ever meeting between Djokovic and Ymer in Paris on Tuesday was one-sided throughout and a story of total dominance in the opening set.

World number one Djokovic, who won his first Rome title for five years as preparation for the last grand slam of the year, dropped just seven points and had the lead after only 22 minutes.

It looked like more of the same in the second set when Ymer was broken in the third game and, despite the Swede striking straight back, it ultimately proved that way as the relentless 2016 champion did not allow him to get a foothold in the contest.

Ymer showed some fight again in the third, breaking Djokovic having earlier fallen behind to bring it back to 3-3.

But Djokovic, who only allowed two break points in the match and lost both, reeled off three consecutive games and sealed a straightforward victory on his first match point with a forehand winner.

Andy Murray is planning a busy finish to 2020 in a bid to bounce back from his disappointing first-round exit at the French Open.

The Briton lost 6-1 6-3 6-2 to Stan Wawrinka in Paris on Sunday to follow up a second-round departure at the US Open.

In the immediate aftermath of his French Open loss, Murray vowed not to "brush aside" the heavy defeat and insisted he would analyse it to understand the reasons.

Looking ahead to the remainder of a year that has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the 33-year-old has discussed plans to play two consecutive indoor ATP 250 events in Cologne next.

"I know tournament-wise I'm going to try to play as much as I can between now and the end of the year," he told reporters.

"The plan is to play in Cologne, the two tournaments there.

"Probably the only positive of [going out early] is I will get more time to prepare on the indoor hard courts for that."

Later in the year, Murray hopes to travel to Australia, with the ATP Cup a possibility at the start of next season after he had to withdraw through injury earlier this year.

"We don't know exactly what the rules are going to be for Australia, but it's looking like you'll have to get there very early to prepare for that," he said.

"I'd like to play in the ATP Cup because I was supposed to last year [the 2020 edition], and it looked like a great event – or [I will play] another ATP event on in Australia at the beginning of the year if I'm not in the ATP Cup team.

"My plan is to for sure go to Australia. I just don't know exactly what the exact situation is in terms of what date we would have to go, because by the sounds of it, it's pretty early, like mid-December."

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