Rafael Nadal counts to 90 to match Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors

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Rafael Nadal counts to 90 to match Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors

World no. 2 and the 11-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal is through to his 13th Roland Garros quarter-final, defeating Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes. It was another excellent performance from the Spaniard who grabbed the 90th triumph from 92 encounters in Paris, firing 40 winners and 25 unforced errors and toppling Londero's 23-30 ratio to become the fourth player in history with 38 Grand Slam quarter-finals ahead of Roy Emerson.

Rafa lost serve only once and the pressure was on the other side of the net all the time, stealing almost half of the return points and breaking Juan Ignacio six times from 12 opportunities. Serving at 75%, Nadal lost only six points on serve in the opening set, defending three break points in game five when he was already in front and mounting the pressure on Londero after taking almost half of the return points.

Hitting with depth and precision, Rafa overpowered the rival and kept the points on his racquet with 14 winners and eight unforced errors, scoring two breaks for an impressive start. Londero netted an easy backhand in game two to suffer the first break, wasting those chances at 1-3 and getting broken again in the eighth game to hand the set to Nadal following a forehand error.

The Spaniard avoided break points in set number two, landing 12 winners and nine unforced errors, waiting for a chance on the return patiently. It came in game six when Londero sent a smash wide, allowing Rafa to take a 4-2 lead and having to play against set points on serve in the eighth game.

The Argentine saved both to prolong the set before Nadal sealed the set with a trademark forehand down the line winner for a 6-2, 6-3 after 85 minutes. Juan Ignacio repelled three break points at the beginning of the third set and created a break chance in the next game, denied by Rafa who blasted a service winner to remain unbroken.

The Spaniard broke at 15 in game three and continued the march towards the win with another break at 3-1 with a backhand slice winner. In his second loose service game since the start of the match, Nadal suffered a break in the next game when his forehand landed long but that could not have stopped him, firing a forehand winner for a break in game nine and the place in the quarter-final.