Nadal stays on track for 10th Paris title

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and title-holder Novak Djokovic surged into the French Open quarterfinals for a record-equalling 11th time yesterday.

Nadal dispatched Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-2 6-2 to match Roger Federer’s mark of last-eight appearances in Paris.

The 14-time major winner is striving to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single grand slam. “I’m happy because Roberto is a very good player.

It’s very important for me to be in the quarterfinals one more time,” Nadal said.

The fourth seed will meet compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, through to his first slam quarterfinal, for a spot in the last four after the latter stunned Canada’s Milos Raonic.

Carreno Busta, seeded 20th, needed seven match points to clinch a thrilling 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-7 (6/8) 6-4 8-6 win over the fifthseeded Raonic.

Djokovic also became an 11-time quarterfinalist as he sauntered past Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 6-3. Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem thrashed Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos 6-1 6-3 6-1 to reach the quarters for a second straight year.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori fought off a fierce challenge from South K o re a ’s Hyeon Chung in an all-Asian tussle held over from Saturday following rain, to clinch a place in the last 16.

Karen Khachanov will play Andy Murray in the fourth round after the giant Russian beat American 21st seed John Isner 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/3).

Kristina Mladenovic ensured the host nation will have two women in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 after dumping out fourth seed Garbine Muguruza 6-1 3-6 6-3.

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