Sports

Novak Djokovic struggles past Diego Schwartzman to enter French Open pre-quarters

Novak Djokovic struggles past Diego Schwartzman to enter French Open pre-quarters

"Numbers that I have on clay are important and I am very happy [about] all the things that have happened to me, my whole career".

Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili may have been wearing a skull on his black headband and army-green shirt, but there was no intimidatory effect on Nadal, who dropped just one game to take his best-of-five match record on clay to 98-2.

Bautista Agut has never made the quarters of a grand slam, and it's hard seeing his first trip taking place by beating Nadal in his tournament.

With the rainclouds rolling in, Nadal seemed keen to get his third-round match over as quickly as possible and the No. 4 seed took 90 minutes to win 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.

Women's 3rd rd: Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-2 6-2, Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-5 4-6 8-6, Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) bt Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr) 6-1 6-4.

The Spaniard outlasted 16 seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

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Venus Williams of the U.S. secured her place in the next round this evening with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Belgium's Elise Mertens.

But the Serb finally found some form to end the match with successive 6-1 sets with Schwartzman having proved a very tricky opponent for the defending champion.

The defending champion was rocked by the Argentine at regular intervals and trailed by two sets to one as Djokovic began to unravel. Nadal has won 10 of his last 11 matches on clay court.

"When I have a match, I play very well".

In doubles, third-seeded American twins Bob and Mike Bryan lost in the second round, beaten by Sam Groth of Australia and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

The world No 5 was given a time violation warning in the second set, and being penalised a point for taking too long seemed nearly the most likely way of the him conceding a point.

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"For me, I do this on my own time and my own dime", said Agassi.

It appeared that Nadal was keen to get off Court Philippe Chatrier in order to start celebrating becoming a year older on Saturday, but the legendary Spaniard is keeping it low key in Paris. The 2016 quarterfinalist, however, slipped on a tarp at he back of Court Suzanne Lenglen and sustained an ankle injury during his match against Horacio Zeballos.

"I want to congratulate Diego on battling so well because he played great".

"It will affect me in a positive way and, hopefully, I will be able to continue playing better and better".

Seeded losers in the women's third round: No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 14 Elena Vesnina, No. 26 Daria Kasatkina.

The Spaniard is bidding to become the first player in the Open era - and only the second in history - to win 10 titles at any Grand Slam event.

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