The most anticipated duel of this Roland Garros, the one that should oppose the Serbian Novak Djokovic to the Spaniard Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals is already only one step away, after this Friday both certified their passage to the second lap and continued, from a distance, the race to see who advances the fastest.
The German Alexander Zverev, third in the standings, and the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, sixth, also advanced without shaking.
The two tennis players who appear as the main favorites for the final victory, and who reached a draw before the final, overcame the first three rounds without giving up a set, with quick matches, without leaving any signs of weakness in far inferior rivals.
Djokovic, world number 1 and defending champion, spent less than an hour on center court to beat 195-ranked Slovenian Aljaz Bedene at 32, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
On course to conquer the 21st Grand Slam and thus equal Nadal, the Serb has given no reason to worry since landing in Paris with the freshly released Roma title and seems to have left the hump behind. game a few months ago.
The obstacle that now separates him from the dream duel with Nadal is the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, who in an upward trajectory reached the round of 16 for the fourth time in Paris and who got rid of the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 6- 3, 6-1 and 6-2 in the most enjoyable game of the tournament so far.
A rival he defeated in the six occasions he faced him, including one at Roland-Garros, in 2017, in a match that ended in five sets.
The same reliability shows Nadal, who arrives immaculate in the second week and without negative news from the foot that diminished him in Rome and caused concern.
The Spaniard, who is seeking his fourteenth crown at Roland Garros, for a total of 22 major tournaments, beat Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours and 11 minutes in what he described himself as his best game since the rib injury he suffered last March in Indian Wells.
Nadal has warned that he faces Roland Garros without filming on clay, so he has to make up for it in the tournament itself, a trajectory which, for now, is on track.
But the tennis player also warned that the path will be steeper every day and now the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is in the middle, who is among others coached by Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle and coach until 2016.