PARIS (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal’s attempt to win the French Open for a 10th time picked up pace with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 third round demolition of unseeded Russian Andrey Kuznetsov at Roland Garros on Saturday.
The Spanish defending champion, seeded a lowly sixth this year after a run of patchy form, showed the quality that has made him the dominant force on clay for a decade, brushing aside his opponent with relative ease.
He moves into the second week with an unblemished record and seems to be finding his best form in time for a likely quarter-final blockbuster with world number one Novak Djokovic -- the man he has beaten in two of the last three finals.
Before that can become a reality he will have to beat American Jack Sock in the last 16.
”Things are going better,“ Nadal said on court. ”Against (Nicolas) Almagro (in the last round) I played a good match and again today I played well and had positive feelings.
“Fourth round is very good news for me.”
Apart from a dropped service game the first set was perfect for Nadal as he overpowered the lightweight Russian.
Kuznetsov did not hold serve until he was 3-0 down in the second set and although he began to make more of a match of it he was outclassed as Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 69-1.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer