A rare couple of wobbles failed to derail Rafael Nadal, who overcame the spirited challenge of Maximilian Marterer to reach the French Open quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) success on Monday. But it did not take Nadal long to figure out his opponent, reeling off four straight games en route to an inevitable one-set lead.
Nadal, who turned 32 on Sunday, fired 39 winners as he completed the victory in two hours and 30 minutes to set up a match with Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who had earlier beaten Kevin Anderson.
The first went begging with a forehand long of his own, but Marterer's fight was finally over when he could not land a backhand, prompting Nadal to race to the net and congratulate the German on a fine effort.
Marterer, enjoying his best run on just his third appearance in the main draw of a major, performed with admirable composure and maturity that belied his 22 years and did force another break midway through the third set but ultimately could do little to halt the Nadal juggernaut.
Le retour de Serena et Sharapova, la suite pour Nadal — Roland-Garros
De plus, elle n'avait plus joué sur terre battue depuis sa finale perdue à Paris en 2016 face à l'Espagnole Garbine Muguruza . Si le tournoi de Wimbledon est plus strict en matière de code vestimentaire, celui de Roland Garros est plus flexible.
With the momentum having swung his way, Schwartzman secured the decisive breaks in the final set and sealed a memorable victory with an ace in three hours and 51 minutes.
But he kept fighting, forcing a tie-break only for Nadal to up the intensity once again and open up a 5-2 lead.
Nadal patted Marterer sympathetically on the chest at the net after winning on his second match point.
Marterer was only the 11th man in 50 years of professional tennis to make the last 16 on debut at Roland Garros, and first since Nadal won the first of his record 10 titles in Paris in 2005.