Nadal, Murray, Ferrer cruise into second week at French Open
Paris, France (Sports Network) - Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a third straight French Open title with another straight-set win Saturday, while fellow top seeds Andy Murray and David Ferrer also moved on to the second week with comfortable third-round wins.
Nadal is gunning for a seventh title overall at Roland Garros and on Saturday advanced with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina's Eduardo Schwank. The second-seeded Spaniard has yet to be seriously tested, as he dropped just five games in the first round and four in the second before Saturday's methodical triumph.
Next up for the 10-time Grand Slam champ will be another Argentine in Juan Monaco, who pulled out a grueling 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 slugfest against Canadian Milos Raonic. The 13th-seeded Monaco has never been past the fourth round in a major and will have his hands full trying to do so next week against Nadal, who owns a 3-1 record in the lifetime series with all three wins coming on clay.
"We know each other very well, personally speaking, but also from the point of tennis," said Nadal about facing Monaco. "We spend a lot of hours together. We practice very often together. So we both know what we're going to try and do when we play together. We'll try and be very aggressive. We'll try and speed up and change gears. And we'll see who's going to win."
The fourth-seeded Murray cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, while the sixth-seeded Ferrer powered past Russian Mikhail Youzhny in a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 rout.
Things got so bad for Youzhny at one point, he used his shoe to inscribe the word sorry -- spelling it SORRI -- in the red clay behind the baseline as an apology to the fans.
Murray, who has continued to win despite a bad back, will next face a tough test in Frenchman Richard Gasquet. The 17th seed struggled early before taking command in a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 victory over German veteran Tommy Haas.
"My objective was not just to make it to the second week," noted Gasquet, who is just 1-10 lifetime in fourth-round matches at Grand Slam events. "I know I can do better. So I'll have to play a great match against Murray."
Ferrer, meanwhile, will meet Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who outlasted Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-1. Mathieu, coming off a nearly six-hour marathon in the second round against John Isner, appeared to finally run out of gas in the fifth on Saturday after battling all the way back from an 0-2 deficit.
Also Saturday, eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic topped Frenchman Julien Benneteau, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, and will next face 12th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who rolled to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.
Fourth-round play opens Sunday with four matches.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will meet Italy's Andreas Seppi, while third-seeded Roger Federer will take on lucky loser David Goffin of Belgium. French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will square off against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka and seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych will battle former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro.
06/02 15:51:37 ET