Daniil Medvedev maintained the last remaining 100 per cent record at the ATP Finals to head into his last-four meeting with Rafael Nadal on a high.

The world number four had not dropped a set against Alexander Zverev or Novak Djokovic and showed the already-eliminated Diego Schwartzman no mercy in a 6-3 6-3 success on Friday.

Medvedev wasted little time in taking command of proceedings, even if Schwartzman battled to an initial hold.

The Russian led at the next opportunity, picking out the right corner of the court with his forehand and then racing through his own service games to preserve his advantage.

A sharp increase in pressure then allowed Medvedev to clinch the opener on Schwartzman's serve, despite seeing an outrageous stretching return to tee up set point go to waste.

Medvedev converted next time, following up a blistering cross-court effort by blasting straight through his opponent at the net.

The breakthrough in the second again came in Schwartzman's second service game, with the third of three break points a sweetly struck backhand.

That was enough to seal victory, Medvedev breezing through this dead rubber - served out to love - before the real business continues against Nadal in Saturday's semi-final.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev - 30/19
Schwartzman - 13/8

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev - 4/1
Schwartzman - 0/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev - 3/9
Schwartzman - 0/2

Alexander Zverev got up and running in the ATP Finals with a hard-fought victory over Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday.

Zverev and Schwartzman lost their opening matches of the season-ending tournament to Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic respectively.

It was 2018 champion Zverev who boosted his chances of advancing from Group Tokyo 1970 despite not being at his best, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London.

World number seven Zverev will face Djokovic in his last group match on Friday as he eyes a semi-final spot, while Schwartzman looks unlikely to advance.

Zverev made a tentative start and found himself a break down at 2-1 after drilling a forehand long, but he broke straight back as a more positive approach paid off.

The unforced errors were mounting for Schwartzman and Zverev made him pay, winning four games in a row and wrapping up the set when the Argentinian sent a forehand beyond the baseline at full stretch on the run.

Zverev forced two break points in the first game of the second and although Schwartzman hung in there to hold, he was unable to prevent the German from taking a 2-1 lead at the next attempt.

Schwartzman showed flashes of brilliance, including a couple of sublime forehand winners, and was back on serve at 3-3 after a fierce Zverev forehand struck the net cord and landed wide.

The Buenos Aires native had the initiative and took it the distance when Zverev blasted a forehand long to lose the set, then earned a code violation for angrily striking a ball high in the air before returning to his chair.

Zverev was in a far better mood after going a break up at 3-2 in the decider by finishing off a well-constructed point with a textbook backhand volley and he had a vital win when Schwartzman crashed a forehand into the net.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Zverev: 30/38
Schwartzman: 21/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Zverev: 10/3
Schwartzman: 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON 
Zverev: 5/12
Schwartzman: 3/9

Novak Djokovic kicked off his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman on Monday.

The world number one, who last won the season-ending event in 2015, needed one hour and 11 minutes to overcome Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in London.

Schwartzman is competing in the competition for the first time and he made a good start as he broke Djokovic in the third game, but his opponent instantly hit back to level up.

A perfect forehand winner saw Djokovic break Schwartzman – still seeking a first win against the Serbian – in the eighth game before taking the opening set.

The 33-year-old made plain sailing of the second set as he held throughout and twice broke Schwartzman, getting the job done with a powerful forehand volley winner on his third match point.

"It was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3," said Djokovic, who was awarded the year-end number one trophy prior to the match. "I managed the close out the first set.

"Second set, I started swinging through the ball a little more, bit less hesitation from both corners and I was very pleased with the way I played in the second set.

"I must say that it feels very strange to play in front of the empty stands. For all the tennis fans watching on the TV, we love you guys, we miss you guys."

Daniil Medvedev takes on Alexander Zverev in the other Group Tokyo 1970 fixture later on Monday.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic: 23/12
Schwartzman: 9/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic: 7/2
Schwartzman: 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic: 4/6
Schwartzman: 1/2

Novak Djokovic avoided defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and third seed Dominic Thiem, who were both drawn alongside Rafael Nadal for the ATP Finals.

World number one Djokovic, who will be aiming to win the trophy for a record-equalling sixth time, will take on Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman in Group Tokyo 1970.

The Serbian heads to London on the back of just his third defeat of the season – one of which was his default at the US Open – in the quarter-finals of the Vienna Open to Lorenzo Sonego.

Zverev won the title in 2018, while Medvedev is returning after his ATP Finals debut last year and Schwartzman has reached the event for the first time.

Nadal has qualified for the year-ending competition for a record 16th straight year but faces a tricky task in Group London 2020 alongside Thiem, Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.

Tsitsipas lost to Nadal in the group stage but beat Thiem in the final to win the competition last year, though the Austrian will hope to go one better after making his major breakthrough by going all the way at the US Open.

Like Schwartzman, Rublev is competing at the tournament for the first time.

The ATP Finals, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record against Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals and send Diego Schwartzman to the ATP Finals.

World number two Nadal is bidding to win the ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time and fought from a set down to triumph 4-6 7-5 6-1 and improve his record against his fellow Spaniard to 7-0.

With Schwartzman having lost his quarter-final against Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-1 earlier on Friday, Carreno Busta needed to win back-to-back titles in Paris and Sofia to stop the Argentinian taking the last remaining qualifying spot for the season-ending tournament.

He appeared to have a significant chance of keeping his hopes alive when he engineered three break points at the start of the second set, but 20-time grand slam champion Nadal held firm and forced his way into a final-four meeting with Alexander Zverev or Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal came under early pressure on his serve and Carreno Busta took his second chance to break, his impressive groundstrokes proving difficult for his opponent to cope with.

Back-to-back brilliant backhands put him on the brink of going a set and a break up in the first game of the second, but Nadal dug in to hold and began to step through the gears.

Carreno Busta showed impressive resilience to keep the contest on serve in games two and eight, before a wicked forehand down the line forced the match to a decider.

The ninth seed was broken to love in game four of the decider and won just two more points as Nadal surged to victory.

In the other semi-final Medvedev will take on Milos Raonic after the Russian took just 63 minutes to dispatch of Schwartzman.

Things were not as easy for Raonic, who staved off two match points and sent down 25 aces as he overcame Ugo Humbert 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7).

The Canadian saved all three of the break points he faced in the third set – and five out of six overall – and closed out the victory with a final ace.

Rafael Nadal landed the 1,000th singles win of his career as he survived an early scare at the Paris Masters.

Nadal's fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez went close to a major upset as the veteran pushed him all the way, but Nadal came through 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

After sweeping to French Open glory last month without dropping a set, Wednesday's match marked Nadal's return to action and it took him two hours and 30 minutes to get the job done.

He sits fourth on the list of players with the most wins in the Open Era, behind Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.

There were also victories for Alexander Zverev, Diego Schwartzman, Milos Raonic and Alex de Minaur. while Daniil Medvedev went through after opponent Kevin Anderson retired due to injury during a first-set tie-break.

Away from clay, Nadal looks vulnerable in Paris

Nadal was imperious at Roland Garros, roaring through the draw on the way to his 13th French Open title.

Across town, at the Bercy Arena, it has been a different story throughout Nadal's career.

The indoor hard-court event is one he has never won and has often skipped, with this just his eighth appearances in the main draw, and this was almost a brief visit as Lopez made a storming start.

Lopez managed what nobody could at Roland Garros by swiping that first set after a break of serve in the opening game of the match, but 20-time grand slam winner Nadal stepped up his game to reach the last-16 stage and chalk up a landmark win.

The 39-year-old Lopez saved five break points in the second set to earn a tie-break, only for Nadal to edge it and then break serve for the first time at the outset of the decider.

With his hard-fought success, Nadal, 34, extended his head-to-head winning record to 10-4 against Lopez, with their rivalry having begun on an indoor carpet court in Basel back in 2003.

Likely challengers come through

German fourth seed Zverev swept to a 6-2 6-2 win against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, while Schwartzman swatted away Richard Gasquet, landing a 7-5 6-3 win over the Frenchman.

There was more disappointment for French hopes as Pierre-Hugues Herbert lost 6-4 6-4 to Canadian Raonic, and Russian Medvedev was embroiled in a battle with Anderson when the South African pulled out of the contest.

Sonego's early exit

Lorenzo Sonego arrived in Paris off the back of a successful week in Vienna, where he knocked out Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals and went on to finish runner-up to Andrey Rublev.

This week will linger less in the memory for the Italian, who went down 6-3 7-5 to De Minaur.

Alexander Zverev sealed his second ATP title in the space of a week as the German overcame Diego Schwartzman in the Cologne Championships final.

World number seven Zverev beat Felix Auger-Aliassime to claim the Cologne Indoors title on October 18 and continued his fine form in the city with a 6-2 6-1 triumph on Sunday.

Schwartzman had denied Auger-Aliassime the chance to avenge his previous defeat but was never a match for in-form Zverev, who hit nine aces – to his opponent's zero – and saved the only break point he faced.

After an even start, Zverev nosed himself ahead with a break of Schwartzman's serve in the fifth game of the opener, with another concession from the Argentine following.

Zverev swiftly wrapped things up with his first set point, though Schwartzman rallied to gain a break point in the opening game of the final set.

It was an opportunity the world number nine failed to grasp, however, and Zverev made him pay with some clinical shots, rounding off the victory – and his second title of 2020 – with a supreme forehand down the line.

Alexander Zverev defeated Jannik Sinner in straight sets in Saturday's Cologne Championships semi-final to remain on course for a second ATP title in the space of a week.

The 23-year-old lost to Sinner at the last-16 stage of the French Open earlier this month but was too strong for the wildcard entrant in this latest match, prevailing 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Zverev, who carried a hip injury into the contest, lost serve in the fourth game but responded well and converted his first match point with a blistering serve.

He held throughout the second set and will now face Diego Schwartzman, who beat last week's beaten Cologne Indoors finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other semi.

Second seed Schwartzman came out on top 6-4 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes to reach his third final of 2020, converting four of five break points.

Ugo Humbert saved four match points against Dan Evans on the way to reaching the European Open final in Antwerp, meanwhile, battling to a 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory.

The opportunities for Evans all came the Briton's way in a second-set tie-break, with Humbert coming back from 6-3 behind and then 7-6 in the breaker to keep his hopes alive.

He found a way to level the match before edging the decider, with the 22-year-old French left-hander sealing his place in a second final of 2020 after winning in Auckland back in January.

It took him three hours and 14 minutes to complete the task, but at least Humbert had the evening off as Alex de Minaur and Grigor Dimitrov battled it out to join him in the final.

And it was eighth-seeded Australian De Minaur who claimed the victory in a tight match that lasted two hours and 48 minutes.

De Minaur held his nerve to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 to reach his first tour-level final in 12 months, losing to Roger Federer on the previous occasion at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Diego Schwartzman took a big step towards qualifying for the ATP Finals with a "crazy" comeback win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Cologne Championships quarter-finals. 

The Argentinian was staring down the barrel of defeat when he lost the opening set and trailed 5-2 in the second, with Davidovich Fokina unable to convert a match point. 

After his opponent failed to capitalise, Schwartzman recovered to win 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 to set up a semi-final with either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Yoshihito Nishioka. 

Schwartzman is aiming to secure one of the final two spots for the ATP Finals and occupies the final qualifying berth. 

"Tennis sometimes is crazy," said Schwartzman after the match. "Maybe today I got lucky to be here answering questions.  

"But that is why I am here as well with this ranking, because I am always trying to find a way to win the matches. Today was not the exception to the rule." 

Home favourite and top seed Alexander Zverev came through in three sets, beating Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4. He meets Jannik Sinner, who recovered from losing eight straight games to defeat Gilles Simon 6-3 0-6 6-4, in the other last-four match. 

At the European Open, Dan Evans saved match point en route to ousting third seed Karen Khachanov 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 and will go up against Ugo Humbert in the semi-finals after the Frenchman beat Lloyd Harris in straight sets. 

Alex de Minaur hammered Marcos Giron 6-3 6-0 in under an hour and faces Grigor Dimitrov next, with the Bulgarian handed a walkover after Milos Raonic withdrew before the match due to an abdominal strain. 

Diego Schwartzman eased to a straight-sets win over home hope Oscar Otte but there was a shock in store for Denis Shapovalov at the Cologne Championships.

Second seed Schwartzman, ranked ninth in the world, needed just 81 minutes to seal a 6-3 6-2 victory, setting up a third-round meeting with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

It was a less happy outing for third seed Shapovalov in Germany, the Canadian succumbing to a 6-1 4-6 6-2 loss against Gilles Simon.

The result represented a measure of revenge for Simon after the Frenchman lost to world number 12 Shapovalov in the first round of the French Open.

"I am really happy with the way I played, with the focus I had over all of the match," Simon said in his on-court interview. 

"I am really happy to beat him, because it is a very, very good win. I had a tough match with him at Roland Garros. I lost it unfortunately, so I am happy that I am the winner this time."

Jannik Sinner awaits for Simon after he defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Yoshihito Nishioka also made it through.

At the European Open in Antwerp, top seed and home favourite David Goffin suffered a stunning 6-3 7-5 defeat to American qualifier Marcos Giron.

Giron's surprise victory put him in the last eight of a ATP Tour event for the first time and he saved 10 of 13 break points he faced for a maiden victory over a top-20 opponent.

Milos Raonic was not to be denied a place in the quarter-finals, though, and a 7-5 7-6 (7-4) defeat of Cameron Norrie means he will now meet Grigor Dimitrov.

Rafael Nadal's history with Novak Djokovic makes Sunday's French Open final between the pair a mouth-watering prospect, but the Spaniard insists his focus will be on bringing his 'A' game.

Djokovic is one of only two players to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros and he awaits in a dream Paris showdown after the pair came through their semi-finals - the latter after a five-set slog with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal, who was up first and beat Diego Schwartzman to advance to his 13th French Open final, spoke ahead of Djokovic's win.

Asked if his previous run-ins with the Serbian would play a part in this weekend's tussle, Nadal said: "I don't think so. Different circumstances, different kind of tournament and different situation. I don't know. 

"I will let you know on Sunday. I can't predict the future. The only thing I know is to play against Novak, I need to play my best. 

"Without playing my best tennis, the situation is very difficult. I know that is a court that I have been playing well for such a long time, so that helps. 

"But at the same time, he has an amazing record here, too, being in the final rounds almost every single time. He is one of the toughest opponents possible. 

"I am here to keep trying my best. I like to play in this scenario. I know I have to make a step forward. I think I did one today. 

"But for Sunday it is not enough. I need to make another one. That's what I'm looking for. I'm going to work hard to try to make that happen."

Rafael Nadal advanced to his 13th French Open final as he maintained his perfect record in the last four at Roland Garros with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman.

The Spaniard had never been beaten in the semi-finals of the clay-court grand slam, which he has won a record 12 times, though Schwartzman was the only man to have defeated him on his favoured surface this year.

Any hopes of a repeat of the Argentine's win in Rome last month were soon dashed, though, as Schwartzman failed to hold in the first two games of an opening set that went on for over an hour before Nadal emerged victorious.

The world number two was just as dominant in the next set and, despite a topsy-turvy third, Nadal won 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-0) to leave him one win from a record-equalling 20th grand slam.

Schwartzman had a break point on two occasions in Nadal's opening game but, after 14 minutes, the second seed held and soon moved 2-0 up.

Another break of serve then followed, but Nadal again hit back and went on to seize the set at the third time of asking.

Schwartzman played the shot of the match with an unfathomable chopped forehand winner down the line in the next set, but it was only a mere highlight as Nadal refused to let up, a second break putting him one set from victory.

Nadal has never lost when two sets up on clay but, after forging ahead in the third with a break, he failed to hold in successive service games, with two untimely unforced errors in the latter game giving Schwartzman a glimmer of hope.

The 12th seed had three break points to move 6-5 up but Nadal closed the door each time, and it was the favourite who showed a killer instinct in the tie-break to tee up a final against either Novak Djokovic or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"I know against Diego it's very difficult until the end," Nadal said on court afterwards. 

"He's one of the players that makes more breaks [than anyone on] the tour. 

"Three weeks ago, I lost in Rome so I expected a very tough match. I'm happy with the way I played, I think I have been improving."

Dominic Thiem admitted fatigue had left him "over the limit" of his own endurance as he lost an epic French Open quarter-final to Diego Schwartzman.

The US Open champion was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after five hours and eight minutes of exhausting tennis on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thiem has struggled with injury concerns and a more general physical weariness in Paris but produced a remarkable level of resistance against the inspired Schwartzman, who has reached his first grand slam semi-final.

However, after the Argentine snatched the fourth set during a fiercely fought tie-break, he assumed control of the decider to record perhaps the biggest win of his career.

Thiem accepted he was physically unable to compete in the fifth set but could not complain about the result or his performance level at Roland Garros.

"To be honest, I was over the limit today," he said. "But if I would have won, I mean, Diego in that case, he has two days off now. Maybe I would have recovered [for the semi-finals]. Even though I'm physically and mentally on the edge, you never know in a slam.

"But, well, at the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think [it was] the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it.

"I was doing quite well. Also today, I still could play at quite a high level for more than five hours. But, I mean, he was keeping it up until the end. He was probably a little bit fresher than me in the fifth set, so that's why he won.

"In general, I mean, I'm not sad with my performance here in Roland Garros. I mean, it was pretty short time with the long trip home, jet lag, and everything. Then, of course, the first slam, which is a special thing. Come here, play in pretty brutal conditions, I would say. I cannot say it was a bad tournament, I'm pretty happy about it."

Schwartzman had three set points on serve in the fourth but Thiem was able to force the breaker thanks in part to an astonishing running forehand winner.

Once his opponent and good friend had levelled the contest, however, he felt the match was out of his hands.

"I came back unbelievable in the fourth set," he said. "When he served for it at 5-4, 40-Love, I played this down-the-line winner. The match was basically all the time on the edge for both
of us. Tiebreak at 5-5 he played a great point. With that in the bag, I think he had a little advantage in the fifth set.

"I think if I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four. In the fifth set, he was just a little bit more fresh and better than me.

"I'm super disappointed that I lost, that I didn't make the semis this year. But at the same time I'm happy for him. He really deserves it. It's an amazing achievement by him to break into the top 10 for the first time in the career.

"Maybe to lose against a friend hurts a little bit less, yeah."

Speaking on court after his win, Schwartzman said: "Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world. We are friends. I have a lot of respect for him and that's why this match is very, very important for me.

"This is the third time I've played five sets here and I think at the end of this night I deserve to win.

"In the second set and third set I was out of my mind. I was crazy, screaming, talking to my coach. My coach was saying 'play tennis, nothing else'.

"I was so nervous because I saw a chance today and didn't take it in the second or the third. But I'm very happy."

Diego Schwartzman emerged triumphant from an extraordinary five-set French Open battle with Dominic Thiem to reach the first grand slam semi-final of his career.

After an epic, back-and-forth match lasting five hours and eight minutes, Schwartzman savoured a 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win - one of the most memorable victories in his career.

Schwartzman, a finalist in Rome last month, came into the match having not dropped a set in Paris, while US Open champion Thiem had been taken the distance by French youngster Hugo Gaston on Sunday.

The Argentinian drew first blood but Thiem levelled the contest and then saved a set point in the third before moving 2-1 ahead.

An early break in the fourth appeared to have Thiem on course for victory but Schwartzman was able to force a dramatic decider.

The fifth was the most one-sided set of the match, Schwartzman breaking a run of holds with a crucial break of serve in the sixth game, and victory was his when a weary Thiem netted a drop shot.

Schwartzman will face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal or Jannik Sinner, who were scheduled to play later on Tuesday.

A gruelling first set lasting over an hour was a sign of things to come.

An astonishing ninth game in the second set lasted almost 16 minutes as Thiem could not convert six break points, but he was finally able to strike in his next game returning serve and then held to take the set as Schwartzman found the net with a backhand.

The tension was palpable in an unbelievable third set that saw both players broken four times. Thiem led 5-1 and 6-4 in the breaker and could not convert his first two set points, before rallying to win two straight points and move in front, sealing it with a smash.

Another overhead saw Thiem break first in the fourth set but, just as it looked like the match had taken a decisive turn, Schwartzman struck straight back.

Schwartzman built leads of 4-2 and 5-3 but saw three set points go begging as he tried to serve it out at 5-4, Thiem sending a stunning forehand winner on the run down the line to make it 5-5.

Thiem, apparently desperate to avoid another five-setter, let rip with aggressive groundstrokes, but when the fourth set went the way of Schwartzman, the South American became favourite.

Breaking Thiem to love to lead 4-2 in that decider put Schwartzman in sight of the winning line, which he soon reached, the pair stopping to chat at the net at the end of the contest, each appreciative of the other's efforts in a remarkable battle.

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."

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