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Nadal, ‘Djoko’ reach QF

PARIS (AFP) – Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and title-holder Novak Djokovic surged into the French Open quarter-finals for a record-equalling 11th time on Sunday, but reigning women’s champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out in the last 16.

Nadal continued his ruthless form at Roland Garros by dispatching Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to match Roger Federer’s mark of last-eight appearances in Paris.

The 14-time major winner has dropped just 20 games in four matches as he strives to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam.

‘‘I’m happy because Roberto is a very good player. It’s very important for me to be in the quarter-finals one more time,’’ said Nadal, who turned 31 on Saturday.

‘‘Probably I didn’t play as well as I did the other day, but I still played well.’’

The fourth seed will meet compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, through to his first Slam quarter-final, for spot in the last four after the latter stunned Canada’s Milos Raonic.

Carreno Busta, seeded 20th, needed seven match points to clinch a thrilling 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 8-6 win over the fifth-seeded Raonic.

Djokovic also became an 11-time quarter-inalist as he sauntered past Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7/5), 6-1, 6-3.

The Serb needed 75 minutes to clinch the opening set but then outclassed the 19th seed to set up a showdown with Dominic Thiem.

‘’There’s no easy match in a Grand Slam quarter-final, it will be very difficult for both of us,’’ said Djokovic of his upcoming challenge.

The Serb also confirmed that coach Andre Agassi had, as planned, already left Paris.

Austrian sixth seed Thiem thrashed Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarters for a second straight year.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori fought off a fierce challenge from South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in an all-Asian tussle held over from Saturday following rain to clinch a place in the last 16.

Chung quickly forced the contest into a fifth set as play resumed on Sunday, but the world number 67 double faulted on match point to gift Nishikori a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 0-6, 6-4 victory.

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