World no. 2 Rafael Nadal is through to his 14th Roland Garros quarter-final from 16 appearances, beating Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1 6-2 in an hour and 55 minutes. The Spaniard faced six break chances, defending five to mount the pressure on a qualifier who couldn't match that pace, suffering eight breaks from 11 opportunities offered to his rival to end the campaign in the fourth round.
Unlike in the previous matches, Nadal struggled with the first serve efficiency in the first set, facing two break points at the beginning of the encounter. The Spaniard fended them off with service winners, bringing the game home after four deuces to avoid an early setback.
Korda netted a backhand in his first service game to find himself 2-0 down, with Nadal closing the third game with a volley winner at the net for a 3-0 advantage. Losing ground after a promising start, Sebastian hit a double fault to give the fourth game away, allowing Rafa to forge a 5-0 lead with a forehand winner in game five.
The American held at love with a service winner to add his name on the scoreboard, reducing the deficit to 5-1 before Nadal held after deuce for 6-1 in 37 minutes. The defending champion had three winners and six unforced errors in set number two but no one could notice that, dropping four points behind the initial shot and delivering two breaks to repeat 6-1 from the opener.
Korda sprayed a forehand error to get broken in the first game, with Rafa holding at 15 to confirm the lead and increase the advantage. Sebastian forced an error from Rafa in the third game to grab the first and only game of the set, taking two points on the return in the next game but losing it after netting a backhand.
Rafael Nadal is through to his 14th Roland Garros quarter-final.
The youngster sent another backhand wide to give serve away in game five, serving to stay in the set following a hold at 15 from Nadal. The Spaniard clinched another break following a forehand mistake from his opponent, moving 6-1, 6-1 up after 69 minutes and looking good to seal the deal soon after that.
With nothing to lose, Korda grabbed a break in the first game of the third set, holding after two deuces in game two to settle into a nice rhythm and extend his chances. Shifting into a higher gear, Nadal would win every game by the end of the clash, bouncing back in style and sailing into the quarters.
Rafa pulled the break back in game four, held at love and broke at love to forge a 4-2 advantage. Facing two break points in game seven, Nadal repelled both and sealed the deal with the third straight break in game eight that propelled him into the quarters.