Rafael Nadal powered into the French Open quarter-finals with the fourth straight sets victory of his campaign at Roland Garros over Rafa Bautista Agut. The nine-time champion in Paris will now face another Spaniard in the form of Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the semi-finals.
Nadal, who had turned 31 on Saturday [3 June] dropped just one game on his way to reaching the last 16 and a similarly emphatic win followed in round four. The much-improved Bautista Agut was powerless to prevent a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 defeat.
"I played against a very good player, and I was able to win in straight sets with very positive result," Nadal said. "So happy for that. Probably I didn't play as well as I did the other day, but I still played well, no? I played some very good shots.
"I've not played against Pablo but he's developed really well and improved. He's a friend whom I appreciate very much, someone I really like. He's a good person. I think he deserves it."
Novak Djokovic remains on course to meet Nadal in the last four after 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-3 win against 19th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Elsewhere in the men's draw, the all-French fourth round clash between Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet was the victim of another injury withdrawal. A thigh problem saw Gasquet pull out at one set-all and a break down in the third as the 15th seed prevailed to book a clash with 2015 champion Stanislas Wawrinka.
Carreno Busta set-up a clash with Nadal after taking the biggest scalp from men's draw so far with victory over fifth seed Milos Raonic in five sets. The 25-year-old surged into his maiden grand slam quarter-final winning 8-6 in a gruelling fifth set having previous scuppered the chance to serve out the match.
Dominic Thiem's successful clay court season continued as he beat Horacio Zeballos for the loss of just five games, while Kei Nishikori edged into a fourth round meeting with Fernando Verdasco after completing victory over Hyeon Chung in five sets.
World number one Andy Murray meanwhile will face the unseeded Karen Khachanov for a place in the quarter-finals after the Russian beat John Isner in four sets. The pair's last 16 clash will be second on Philippe Charter Court on Monday [5 June].