Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic remain on course for French Open showdown

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time king of clay Rafael Nadal remain on course for a box-office French Open quarter-final after blowing away their third-round opponents.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 6:42 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 6:44 pm
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene.  (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Lying in wait for each other in the same quarter of the draw due to Nadal's world ranking of fifth, the big two are due to collide unusually early at Roland Garros this year.

Djokovic, taking centre stage on Court Philippe-Chatrier, made short work of subdued Slovenian - and one-time representative of Great Britain - Aljaz Bedene, winning 6-3 6-3 6-2.

At the same time, in one of his occasional appearances on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Nadal was dealing with Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp with relative ease, registering a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory.

The illustrious duo are matching each other almost stride for stride as they pound their way through the tournament. They have yet to drop a set and have lost just 23 games apiece so far. Nadal has lost serve five times and Djokovic, just twice.