Record 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal struggled a bit in the first set against Jannik Sinner but in the end won a tight opener against the rising Italian star. Nadal, ranked at No. 3 in the world, handed a 7-5 6-3 6-0 loss to Sinner to reach his 15th French Open quarterfinal.
"I think I started the first two games playing great," Nadal said. "Then I had a bad game with 2-0 and with the wind helping, so that was a big mistake. Then I started to play too much against his backhand and too far from the baseline.
"I gave him the chance to be inside the court and to have control of the point from inside. From that position he's dangerous. I was a little bit farther every time from the baseline."
Nadal went on a big run
Nadal started the match with a 2-0 lead but then dropped his serve in back-to-back games as Sinner took a 4-2 lead.
Sinner failed to serve out for the opener in the ninth game as Nadal claimed back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and win the first set 7-5. Nadal continued his run in the second set as he won the opening four games.
However, Sinner refused to quit as he got two breaks back but again dropped his serve in the eighth game. Nadal routinely served out for the second in the ninth game. After failing to win the second set, Sinner's game fell apart as Nadal claimed three breaks in the third set to complete a straight-set win.
"From that moment [at 4-5 in the first set] to 7-5, 4-0 [in the second] I think I played a very good level of tennis," Nadal said. "Then again, [I made a] couple of mistakes and he played well, honestly. [From] 4-3 until that moment to the end of the match, I think I played great."