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Nadal is still on track to face Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal defeated Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the third round of the French Open on Friday, keeping him on track for a quarter-final meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic.

Nadal has 13 Roland Garros championships among his 21 majors, the most among men, but the Spaniard was denied last year when he lost in the semi-finals to eventual winner Djokovic.

Nadal is still on track to face Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

At same time, on neighbouring Court Philippe Chatrier, the Serb put on a dominant performance to seal his place in the fourth round with a 6-3 6-3 6-2 triumph against Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene, keeping him on track for a record-equaling 21 century title.

Although Djokovic then will face Argentine Diego Schwartzman, Nadal will face Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime before potentially facing Djokovic in the final eight.

Van de Zandschulp got off to a great start, holding Nadal’s serve during first game, but the Spaniard’s delivery appeared practically invincible for the rest of the encounter on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

During his first game match against the Dutchman, Nadal commanded conditions from behind the baseline, absorbing his player’s strength and then unleashing his deadly serve when necessary.

Van de Zandschulp, who is presently ranked 29th in the world, produced a brief comeback in the third set, winning three games in a row from 4-0 behind, although Nadal, who turns 36 next week, had the cushion to not be troubled.

Nadal shattered the 26-year-serve old’s twice in each set, hitting 25 victories despite limiting his mental mistakes. On his second match point, the left-hander sealed the victory with an upper cut down the centre.

“I used to have a break point for 5-0 and then the game was done, but he produced a beautiful service game,” Nadal stated on stage.

“Then I had a horrible serve game, and he started to play aggressively, and you feel a little nervous to complete the match.” For two and a half sets, that was my greatest match of the tournament.”