French Open: Rafael Nadal beats Sinner, storms into quarter-final
Spanish maestro has stormed into the quarter-final of the 2021 French Open by defeating Italy's Jannik Sinner. The 13-time Roland Garros champion earned a straight-set victory (7-5, 6-3, 6-0) in the fourth round that ran for over two hours. Nadal now leads the ATP head-to-head record against Sinner 3-0. Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic proceeded to last eight after Lorenzo Musetti retired.
Sinner was 5-3 ahead in the first set. However, Nadal broke his serve twice to win 7-5. He dominated Sinner in the following set despite losing three sets. The Spaniard was at his best in the third set, giving Sinner no margin for error. He reeled off five games in a quick session before winning the match point.
Nadal registered a total of 99 points and 31 winners in the match. He won 59 percent of the receiving points (45/76). The Spaniard claimed 12 out of 13 net points. On the other hand, Sinner committed 40 unforced errors in the match.
Nadal has won the last 35 sets at Roland Garros, a streak that dates back to 2019. Notably, Bjorn Borg holds the record for most consecutive sets won at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era (41 in a row between 1979 and 1981). The former had also won 38 consecutive sets at Roland Garros between 2016 and 2018.
Nadal has now reached 15 quarter-finals at Roland Garros, joint-most alongside Djokovic (men's singles). This was his 104th match-win at in the prestigious tournament. He has improved to 3-0 in his ATP head-to-head series against Sinner. He is now 50-5 against Italian players overall. Nadal will next face 10th seed Diego Schwartzman, who trounced Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (11-9), 6-4, 7-5 earlier in the day.