Intensity and drama continues to build at the 2014 French Open.
On Saturday, many of the world's biggest stars took the court in an effort to advance deeper into the tournament and closer to the finals. However, we saw some rather surprising results in the wake of the day's matches.
While some contenders further established their bids to go the distance, others faltered terribly, resulting in heartbreaking early exits from the competition.
Let's recap a few of the biggest matches from Day 7 and determine the updated outlook at Roland Garros in the aftermath.
(1) Rafael Nadal def. Leonardo Mayer; 6-2, 7-5, 6-2
Nadal entered Saturday looking to keep pace with Novak Djokovic, following the Serb's win on Friday.
The world No. 1 responded, taking the match in three sets; however, it wasn't without a small amount of drama.
Nadal's dominance on clay was extremely evident on Saturday. He consistently ran Mayer all over the court while displaying great touch to get the job done.
The top seed has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros, according to a tweet from Live Tennis:
In the first set, Nadal was sharp, winning 12-of-13 first-serve points. He also won both of his break points while only committing two unforced errors en route to a 6-2 set win.
The second set didn't go quite as swimmingly for Nadal.
Mayer kept pace nicely with the top seed, forcing Nadal into an error for break point at 3-4. Nadal was too strong on the day, using a powerful forehand to take the set after a beautiful lob put the game in Nadal's favor at 6-5.
In the third set, Mayer appeared to be winded. After the set drew even at 1-1, Nadal poured it on from there, finishing with ease on the first match point.
Following the match, SportsCenter tweeted Nadal's incredible accomplishment at Roland Garros:
Nadal moves on to face Dusan Lajovic in Round 4. This contest should be one more the world No. 1 is likely to cruise though in the same manner before possibly taking on the daunting task of facing David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.
(23) Lucie Safarova def. (11) Ana Ivanovic; 6-3, 6-3
After such a promising start to the tournament, it just wasn't Ivanovic's day on Saturday.
A bevy of unforced errors and erratic play doomed Ivanovic against Safarova—an opponent who has given the No. 11 seed quite a deal of trouble in the past.
Beyond The Baseline tweeted Ivanovic's ongoing struggles against Safarova:
During the match, Ivanovic only won 50 percent of her first-serve points, won just one-of-five break points and tallied 30 unforced errors. Safarova played a far more consistent match, leading to a swift victory.
After the match, Ivanovic spoke to RolandGarros.com regarding her performance:
I think overall my level wasn't there today. You know, I really struggled to find my rhythm. And she was playing very aggressive. She wasn't, you know, giving many free points. I really struggled to come in and to be aggressive and to finish off the points.
I mean, it's definitely tough. I mean, every time, we have had tough matches in the past. She's lefty, it's not something we face every day and the ball comes a little bit differently. In the beginning I felt like I had a lot of chances I didn't use. If I did, the match maybe would have had a different tone to it. Really disappointed that I lost. But, you know, she's good player, you know, and she played tough today.
Things are shaken up in a big way following Ivanovic's loss. In fact, with the loss of No. 5 Petra Kvitova on Saturday, the highest remaining seed on the women's side is No. 4 Simona Halep.
With Maria Sharapova playing some inspired tennis right now, it could be conceived her chances of reaching the finals are vastly improved following Saturday's upsets.
It's certainly been a wild ride so far, and it certainly promises to continue.
(5) David Ferrer def. (32) Andreas Seppi; 6-2, 7(7)-6(2), 6-3
Last year's finalist took one big step toward reaching the final match once more after defeating Seppi in consecutive sets.
Ferrer started strong, winning the first set quickly despite needing six set points to earn the 6-2 win.
Things weren't quite as easy for the No. 5 seed in the second set, as 21 unforced errors plagued Ferrer. Although, Ferrer did win 19-of-25 first-serve points while holding Seppi to just 15-of-30 in the same category. After a back-and-forth set, Ferrer closed things out quickly.
During the third set, Ferrer put on a clay clinic, winning 14-of-18 first-serve points while tallying just five unforced errors en route to a decisive 6-3 set and match victory.
According to a tweet from Tennis.com, Ferrer has been unstoppable leading up to the fourth round in Grand Slam events recently:
Ferrer moves on to face No. 19 Kevin Anderson in the fourth round. Anderson has been playing well of late; however, Ferrer continues to look dominant. This will be the No. 5 seed's biggest challenge of the tournament so far, but will serve as a great test as Nadal looms large in the quarterfinals.
With many of the men's top-seeded players still remaining in tournament action, it's safe to say we're in for a big treat as the French Open begins to wind down.
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