Rafael Nadal Advances to French Open Quarters After Dominant Win vs. Jannik Sinner

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2021

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a return to Italy's Jannik Sinner during their fourth round match on day 9, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Monday, June 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
AP Photo/Michel Euler

Rafael Nadal remains nearly unstoppable at Roland Garros, advancing to the French Open quarterfinals after a 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 win over Jannik Sinner.

The 13-time winner of this event has now won 35 straight sets in Paris and hasn't lost a match since 2015.

Nadal had a relatively slow start Monday on Court Philippe-Chatrier, but he eventually took control and finished strong with a third-set bagel, his second of the tournament. He was especially impressive in the return game, winning 59 percent of receiving points in the match.

It sets up a quarterfinal battle against Diego Schwartzman, who has also won all 12 of his sets through his first four wins.

Finding any success against Nadal on clay is usually a fool's errand, but Sinner was not intimidated in the early going. The 19-year-old earned two breaks in the first set to get a 5-3 lead.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

Too. Good. 🤩#RolandGarros | @janniksin pic.twitter.com/TwFbg8DZzD

The Tennis Podcast @TennisPodcast

Jannik Sinner is not holding back.<br><br>He's reeled off four games from 0-2 down ... Clearly determined to light up Chatrier the way his compatriot did!

He served for the set with a 5-4 advantage, but it was not meant to be, as Nadal turned things around in a hurry with a 7-5 win.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

Putting on a show 🎞#RolandGarros | @RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/lBBZI7VS0w

Tennis Channel @TennisChannel

When presented with pressure, Rafa makes diamonds. 💎@RafaelNadal finds his way through the first set ahead of Sinner, 7-5.<br>Stream live → https://t.co/tPoe44TDv0#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/0zdh7PDxi0

William Hill @WilliamHill

Jannik Sinner was serving for the first set against Rafael Nadal at 5-4 up. <br><br>From that moment on, Sinner only managed to win two points from the next three games, losing the first set in the process.<br><br>Rafa can turn it on with the flick of a switch. 📈#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/SAiG5NxwSw

Nadal kept the momentum to build a 4-0 lead in the second set, eventually going on to win 6-3. It still wasn't always easy, as Sinner earned two more breaks in the set while showcasing excellent coverage.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

On the hunt 🦁@janniksin pulls out THIS to seal back-to-back breaks against Nadal. #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/5F9YRRia8x

The Italian worked hard to stay in the match, but he couldn't get enough shots past his opponent.

Sinner finished with 40 unforced errors and just 11 winners, which isn't a likely path to victory against anyone. His four double-faults with zero aces were also problematic against the No. 3 seed.

Nadal was much sharper, picking his moments to attack and succeeding. 

Tennis Channel @TennisChannel

34 sets won in Paris, and still counting.<br><br>35 and he's into the quarterfinal. 👀@RafaelNadal takes the second, 6-3.<br><br>Stream live → https://t.co/tPoe44TDv0#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/FUF9INRXzv

He finished 12-of-13 on net points and consistently converted his break opportunities. It led to a straight-sets victory that was closer than the final score indicated.

The 35-year-old avoided a setback in a tough matchup and remains a favorite to win the tournament. He is seemingly on a collision course to face Novak Djokovic, and they will meet in the semifinal if both players win their next match.

Sinner was seeking his second straight trip to the quarterfinals at this event but will have to hope for an easier path next time around.