Rafael Nadal beats Maximilian Marterer to ease into French Open quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal beats Maximilian Marterer to ease into French Open quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal's grip on the French Open title was in danger of being loosened by the unlikely figure of Diego Schwartzman.

Looking at the bigger picture, Nadal hadn't ceded a set in Paris since 2015, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Schwartzman, the 11th seed, was certainly playing out of his skin, but even that should have not been enough to trouble a Nadal playing anywhere near his peak.

Three consecutive breaks - two for Schwartzman - gave the 25-year-old underdog the advantage in the second set before the first rain break. Schwartzman saw two set points come and go but at the third time of asking, after a delay while a spectator was helped out after feeling ill, the Argentine ripped a forehand victor.

After roaring to a two-set lead, Nadal faced a stern test in the third with Marterer leading 3-1 at one point after breaking the Spaniard.

The second set was a procession for Nadal, before the German put up a good fight in the third, forcing a tiebreaker.

More news: Serena Williams forced to pull out of French Open with arm injury

Nadal, returning with his famed forehand finally firing on all cylinders, earned back-to-back breaks to move within a hold of the set.

Another rain delay sent the players off court and shortly afterwards play was suspended for the day.

Nadal will next play 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, who rallied to beat Kevin Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (0), 6-2.

Current number one Halep made the semi-finals for the third time by battling past Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2.

"I am very pleased to be in another final in Paris", said Muguruza who has yet to drop a set in the tournament and claimed her first win over Sharapova in four meetings. As the game was stopped for two minutes, Schwartzman walked back to his mark, amidst a huge cheer from the crowd, and took a set off the King.

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