Rafael Nadal crushes Richard Gasquet to reach last 16

Russia's Maria Sharapova in action. Reuters

Gasquet has now lost his last 28 sets against his fellow 31-year-old, a run dating back to 2008.

"And, yes, will be a good match against a good friend in the most important place in my career, and for him a very special place, too".

Rafael Nadal continued his march towards a record-extending 11th French Open title with an authoritative straight-sets victory against Richard Gasquet.

"Just a insane match", the third-seeded Cilic said.

Serena Williams' coach tells The Associated Press that they were holding out hope her French Open match against Maria Sharapova might be postponed because of rain. She clinched the last of her five majors at the French Open in 2014, having also won here in 2012.

Nadal was at his most overpowering best as he mercilessly shoved Richard Gasquet out of his way with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 triumph that gave him a flawless present for his 32nd birthday today and only served to make him an ever-firmer favourite to yet again lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires a week today.

"When he plays on his backhand, he has an intensity which is monstrous", Gasquet said after the latest loss.

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Nadal, who is yet to lose a set from his opening three rounds, will next face Maximilian Marterer after the German had earlier defeated lucky loser Jurgen Zopp 6-2 6-1 6-4. He has yet to drop a set at this year's tournament.

"After a few days, I tried to get an autograph", she said.

Alexander, who is seeded No 2 at Roland Garros, won his third-round match Friday.

Sloane Stephens also advanced to the fourth round, but the 10th-seeded American had a much more hard time beating Italy's Camila Giorgi 4-6, 6-1, 8-6. "Not creating no one problem and being a normal person", said Nadal.

Sharapova, who made a comeback to the French Open for the first time since 2015, after serving a doping ban in 2016 and refused a wildcard entry in 2017, comfortably saw off Croatia's Donna Vekic, 7-5, 6-4.

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after winning a point as he plays France's Richard Gasquet during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Saturday, June 2, 2018 in Paris. Mike Tyson watched also today's matches that promoted Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys to the last 8 for the first time at Roland Garros.

Unseeded Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation has reached the French Open's round of 16 for the second consecutive year, eliminating 15th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the resumption of a suspended match. She broke serve five times against the sixth-seeded Czech.

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