PARIS, (Reuters) – Holder Rafa Nadal extended his streak of consecutive completed sets won at the French Open to 37 as he thrashed Maximilian Marterer 6-3 6-2 7-6(4) to storm into the quarter-finals in Paris for a 12th time.
Only Bjorn Borg (41) has a longer streak and world number one Nadal, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Sunday, looks primed to go past the Swede’s record.
American Serena Williams pulled out of the tournament shortly before she was due on court to face Maria Sharapova in a highly-anticipated fourth-round match.
The 36-year-old 23-times Grand Slam winner, returning to the game after maternity leave this year, was unable to play due to a pectoral muscle injury.
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza also advanced after her Ukrainian opponent Lesia Tsurenko retired two games into their match. The third seed is seeking a second title in Paris after her 2016 success and takes on twice champion Sharapova next.
Argentine Diego Schwartzman produced a remarkable fightback from two sets down to overcome South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 1-6 2-6 7-5 7-6(0) 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals.
The 25-year-old Schwartzman, who faces Nadal next, was joined in the last eight by compatriot Juan Martin Del Potro who eased past American John Isner 6-4 6-4 6-4.