World No. 1 Novak Djokovic set up a mouth-watering French Open quarter-final with nine-time winner Rafael Nadal as he eased past France's Richard Gasquet in the the fourth round on Monday, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.
The Serbian superstar was briefly troubled early on against Gasquet, but he got into his stride in no time on Philippe-Chatrier Court to take the first set in 38 minutes.
It all looked very easy for Djokovic as he ambled to the win, dropping serve just once, but Spanish clay master Nadal now stands in his way as he aims for a maiden Roland Garros title.
The ATP World Tour account confirmed the result:
Djokovic is all too aware of the challenge that serial Paris winner Nadal poses in the next round, per Roland Garros:
Gasquet started on Monday with confidence, saving two break points and then winning the opening game on his serve.
The Frenchman then forced a couple of break points in the next game, and he would have been 2-0 up early on had it not been for Djokovic's immense ability to turn defence into attack, as seen below, per Roland Garros:
A string of break points went begging again for the top seed in the third game, but he finally made one stick with a fine backhand pass down the line after Gasquet had approached the net.
From there, it was simple for Djokovic in the first set, as he proceeded to win the next four games, and he wrapped it up 6-1, with the No. 20 seed barely putting up a fight.
The momentum continued for Djokovic at the start of the second set as he raced to a 3-0 lead, but Gasquet got his first game on the board in 10 for 3-1 with some impressive net play.
The Frenchman put up a little more fight as he forced some break points on the Djokovic serve, but the eight-time Grand Slam winner never looked troubled and broke in the eighth game to take the second set 6-2.
Gasquet was struggling, putting in a huge amount of effort in his attempts to claim some grasp on a match that was slipping away from him fast.
However, he was given very few opportunities as Djokovic held him to love in his first two service games of the third set, with the 2015 Australian Open champion at his athletic best, per the Guardian's James Dart:
Djokovic broke again for 3-1 in the third set, and he looked to be heading with ease to a three-set victory. But France's Gasquet took inspiration from the partisan Roland Garros crowd and finally broke for 4-3 with a stunning backhand winner down the line.
However, Gasquet could not consolidate to draw back level as Djokovic broke with ease to serve for the match at 5-3.
He finished things off in some style, taking match point with a delicate drop shot. His victory came without expending huge amounts of energy, but he will surely need those reserves in the quarter-finals against Nadal on Wednesday.