PARIS – Rafael Nadal took another step closer to a 10th French Open with a ruthless 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in the third round on Friday.
Fourth seed Nadal coasted to the most one-sided win of his Roland Garros career as his 63rd-ranked opponent, playing his first match on Philippe Chatrier Court, was struck down by stagefright.
It was the 100th best-of-five set match on clay that Nadal had played in his career.
His record now stands at 98-2 with his only two losses coming at Roland Garros.
“Perfection? I don’t know about that,” said Nadal.
Basilashvili, 25, hit just five winners and committed 34 unforced errors in his 90-minute horror show.
Nadal, who turns 31 on Saturday, will meet fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarterfinals.
Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic also advanced to the last 16 when veteran Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez retired through injury in the second set.
Raonic was leading 6-1, 1-0 when 153rd-ranked Garcia-Lopez quit after just 28 minutes of their third round encounter.
The world No. 6 will meet either Grigor Dimitrov or Pablo Carreno Busta for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Belgian 10th seed David Goffin quit his third-round match after suffering an ankle injury when he got caught up in court covers.
Goffin was leading Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos 5-4 when he chased down the ball towards the back of the Suzanne Lenglen court.
However, his right foot got horribly jammed beneath the rolled-up covers before he tumbled into the wall and a linesman’s chair.
Goffin, 26, was helped from the court by two officials and retired in the locker room.
Zeballos, the world No. 65, has now reached the last 16 of a Slam for the first time where he will play either Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem or Steve Johnson, the 25th-seeded American.
On the women’s side, defending champion and fourth seed Garbine Muguruza reached the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Kazakh 27th seed Yulia Putintseva.
Spanish 23-year-old Muguruza will face either French 13th seed Kiki Mladenovic or unseeded Shelby Rogers of the United States for a place in the quarterfinals.
Muguruza’s match on Friday featured 11 breaks of serve in the 20 games played.