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French Open: Djokovic, Nadal breeze into fourth round

Novak Djokovic


Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both breezed into the fourth round of the French Open courtesy of straight-sets victories on Friday afternoon at Roland Garros.

The world No 1 raced to a 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory over Aljaz Bedene on Court Philippe-Chatrier and shortly after, Nadal finished the job against Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4.

Both men have fourth-round matches to play, but if they are victorious, they will meet each other in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic is set to face Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round and Nadal will take on Felix Auger-Aliassime.

His opponent Bedene, ranked 195th in the world after an eight-month layoff and a return to action in March, was no match for the world No 1’s power and near-flawless service games.

Rafael Nadal into 4th round

The Serb missed three break points at 2-1 in the first set, but quickly got another chance to breeze through it in just over 30 minutes.

Djokovic gained two further breaks in the second set to clinch it as quickly as the first, with Bedene failing to create a single break chance throughout the match.

Bedene won just five points on Djokovic’s serve during the first two sets.

The third set went in similar fashion with Djokovic breaking early and Bedene, who made twice as many unforced errors as his opponent, failing to respond.

“It’s not possible to play perfectly but to strive to play close to perfection,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.

“I want to play my characteristic game, my aggressive game. It is not always possible but today it was very good.”

The 35-year-old world No 1 is now on an eight-match winning run following his title in Rome and has never lost to his fourth-round opponent Schwartzman on Tour.

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The 13-time French Open champion put on an impressive display of his own for the crowd on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Nadal played with his trademark intensity and produced two near-perfect sets of tennis to press 6-3 6-2 up. He hit just two unforced errors in the opening set and only three in the second set.

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