Coco Gauff marched into her first grand slam semi-final with a straight-sets defeat of fellow American Sloane Stephens at the French Open.

Teenager Gauff will face the unseeded Martina Trevisan for a place in the final after beating her compatriot 7-5 6-2 at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

The composed 18-year-old has not dropped a set in Paris and produced another assured display on Court Phillipe-Chatrier to break new ground.

Eighth seed Gauff was rewarded for an aggressive display, breaking six times as Stephens paid the price for being too passive in a contest that was over in 90 minutes.

Gauff started with huge confidence, racing into a 3-0 lead courtesy of some heavy hitting while creating great angles.

Stephens clicked into gear with a more aggressive approach, winning three games in a row from 5-2 down as Gauff was unable to serve out the set.

The teenager halted with momentum with a hold and wrapped up the set with a backhand winner after the 2017 US Open champion made a mess of a volley at the net.

Stephens came out firing to break in the first game of the second set, but Gauff hit straight back to get back on serve and led 3-1 after ending another point she dictated with a cross-court backhand winner.

The 64th-ranked Stephens was gifted a chance to get back on serve when Gauff presented her with a simple volley at the net, but she inexplicably drilled it long and the youngster held for a 4-1 lead after saving three break points.

Gauff had won five games in a row and was on the brink of victory when her opponent crashed a forehand into the net, and although she failed to serve out the match in a nervy game, she broke for a fourth time in the second set to seal it.

 

Data slam: Gauff living the teenage dream

Gauff became only the fifth female player to reach the last four at Roland Garros this century before turning 19. On the evidence of this display, she has a great chance of playing in a maiden major final on Saturday.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Gauff– 18/23
Stephens – 16/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Gauff – 3/6
Stephens– 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Gauff – 6/10
Stephens – 3/9

Leylah Fernandez's French Open run came to a halt as the teenager fell short against Martina Trevisan.

Fernandez was the favourite heading into her second grand slam quarter-final, but despite showing strong resolve, last year's US Open runner-up ultimately could not match Trevisan, who prevailed 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.

Trevisan, who reached the Roland Garros quarters in 2020 and won her first singles title in Rabat prior to the French Open, set the tone by breaking Fernandez in the first game, and the 19-year-old's task was made more difficult when she required medical treatment for a right foot problem.

The first set went Trevisan's way in 35 minutes, but Fernandez rallied with the first break of set two.

Trevisan broke straight back before holding from 0-40 down, and Fernandez's resolve was tested further in the next game, yet a misdirected forehand down the line saw the Canadian hold.

Fernandez sent a forehand wide to hand the world number 59 the chance to serve out the win, but Trevisan could not capitalise at match point as her opponent went from the brink of defeat to levelling the tie.

But if the momentum seemed with Fernandez after the tie-break, then Trevisan firmly regained control by reeling off seven straight points to start the decider.

Fernandez saved the first two break points, yet Trevisan clinched the third, and after an almighty tussle in game four, the Italian claimed a key double break.

Although world number 18 Fernandez claimed one of those back, Trevisan had the bit between her teeth and, for the second time, had the chance to serve out the match.

Again, the opportunity slipped from her grasp, and a swift hold from Fernandez piled the pressure on.

This time, Trevisan held her nerve – a wonderful serve setting up a second match point, which she took with a fantastic cross-court forehand.

Data Slam: Lesser-spotted all left-hander clash as Trevisan joins exclusive club

Tuesday's match was the first French Open women's quarter-final featuring two left-handed players since 1981, when Martina Navratilova went up against Sylvia Hanika.

Trevisan is the eighth Italian female player to reach the semi-finals in a grand slam after Maud Levi, Annalisa Bossi, Silvana Lazzarino, Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Trevisan – 43/29
Fernandez – 29/44

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Trevisan – 1/7
Fernandez – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Trevisan – 7/14
Fernandez – 4/10

Iga Swiatek has revealed her low-key 21st birthday plans, saying she simply wants to watch two tennis greats in action at the French Open.

Swiatek progressed to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros by defeating Zheng Qinwen on Monday.

The Pole, who won her maiden grand slam title in Paris two years ago, dropped a set for the first time in more than a month as Zheng took the opener, but she came back to win 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 6-2.

Swiatek has now won 32 matches in a row, with only Venus Williams (35) and Serena Williams (34) now having enjoyed longer streaks this century.

The world number one is also the fifth female player to win 15+ consecutive matches as the number one in the 2000s after Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Justine Henin and Dinara Safina.

Monday's win provided an early birthday gift for Swiatek, who turned 21 on Tuesday.

And while her main focus will be on a last-eight showdown with Jessica Pegula, she wants to celebrate by watching Novak Djokovic take on 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.

"It is always pretty hard to celebrate when you are in the middle of the tournament, but I hope I'm going to have time on my day off to do something," Swiatek wrote in her column on BBC Sport.

"I never plan things for my own birthday – it's not like I'm going to throw a party in the locker room! I just hope I will get a proper rest. But I heard my team have prepared something fun for me – so we will see.

"As everyone knows I am a Rafael Nadal fan and I would love to watch his match against Novak Djokovic.

"I will be too curious about what will happen not to see it, but I will watch on TV rather than at the stadium. I watched Rafa's last match against Felix Auger-Aliassime, although not the full game because it was so long.

"During the tournament I need to be focused on my own preparations, my rest and my routine. That's why I won't be going to watch the quarter-final in the stadium.

"But, like always, I'll be rooting for Rafa."

Swiatek added that the inspiration she takes from 21-time grand slam champion Nadal only grew after she visited the 35-year-old's academy in his native Mallorca.

"Recently I went to Rafa's academy in Mallorca and saw all his trophies in the museum he has there," she added. "I got more excited about those trophies than the ones I saw when I went to Real Madrid's stadium, although they were impressive too.

"I was really in awe at seeing the grand slam trophies Rafa has won. But I was also amazed at all the others, like the trophies he has won at Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. There are so many!

"It was amazing to see the consistency he has had during his career and seeing all his trophies was really inspiring."

Iga Swiatek revealed she sang a Dua Lipa song to take her mind off a difficult first set in her French Open victory against Zheng Qinwen.

World number one Swiatek extended her astonishing winning run to 32 matches by beating Zheng in the fourth round at Roland Garros, with only Venus Williams (35) and Serena Williams (34) now having enjoyed longer streaks this century – although the Pole remains a long way short of Martina Navratilova's outrageous all-time record of 74.

But Swiatek was made to work for this victory, dropping a set for the first time in more than a month as Zheng took the opener 7-6 (7-5).

Swiatek ultimately considered this a positive, though, responding with her 16th 6-0 set of the year in the second en route to winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 6-2.

"For sure, for me, I'm taking a lot of confidence in my comeback in the second set," she said afterwards. "So I think it's important that I had this kind of match, which is kind of like a cold shower.

"It reminded me how to find these solutions after losing a first set. Yeah, I feel when I'm going to take some positives from it. I think it's going to give me a lot before the next matches."

Yet what were Swiatek's solutions?

"It wasn't easy to find solutions and to find other tactics and to do something differently, because I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong," she explained.

"In the first set, I get many technical [things] that I wanted to change, like staying lower in my legs and sometimes not pushing the ball but swinging it like I was doing, like I would do normally.

"She was playing really fast balls, and it wasn't easy to loosen up, because I felt a little bit tense.

"So, in the second set, I just wanted to focus more and not really talk to the box maybe that much.

"And honestly, I speeded up a little bit my forehand. Maybe that was the solution. But I felt like my mind is a little bit more clear.

"I was sometimes just singing songs, and I realised in the first set, when I was really focusing on that technical stuff, it didn't really work, because I got more and more tense when I couldn't do that and couldn't really prepare to the shot the best way.

"I was singing in my mind, basically. That's not the first time. I'm always singing something, but I changed the song. It was Dua Lipa, so kind of a guilty pleasure."

Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the French Open in straight sets to Marin Cilic, who hailed the victory as one of the best of his career after producing a scintillating display on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Second seed Medvedev was blown away 6-2 6-3 6-2 in just one hour and 45 minutes, with the 33-year-old Cilic not looking back after forcing successive breaks to wrap up the first set.

Having broken Medvedev's serve six games into the opener, the 2014 US Open champion did likewise en route to clinching the second set, with Cilic winning 90 per cent of first-serve points over the course of a dominant display.

If Medvedev still harboured hopes of a comeback at that point, they were swiftly dashed in the third set as Cilic maintained his relentless pace, breaking the world number two in each of his first two service games as he went on to record his first career win over the Russian.

Medvedev failed to force a single break point during a miserable outing under the floodlights, with the near-flawless Cilic not registering a single double fault as he reached his first grand slam quarter-final since the 2018 US Open.

Speaking on court after teeing up a last-eight meeting with Andrey Rublev, Cilic said the win was one of the best of his career.

"It was an absolutely fantastic match, from the first point until the last. I enjoyed the atmosphere, I enjoy the night sessions here," he said.

"I played incredible tennis, one of the best matches of my career, from start to finish, and I just enjoyed being here.

"We only have one opportunity to play this sport so I try to always give my best, even when things don't go my way.

"When you're working hard and when you're really persistent, really consistent with your training, good things come. It's a great feeling to be playing again like this."

Roland Garros will play host to the latest instalment of one of tennis's greatest rivalries on Tuesday, after Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set up their 59th career meeting in the French Open quarter-finals.

The duo, who boast 41 career grand slam titles between them, will meet again after Nadal overcame Felix Auger-Aliassime in a marathon four-hour contest on Sunday, with Djokovic having cruised past Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16.

The illustrious duo first met at the same stage of the tournament in 2006, when Djokovic was forced to retire through injury, and the world number one will be determined to achieve a better outcome this time around as he bids to equal Nadal's haul of 21 grand slam titles.

Ahead of their blockbuster encounter, Stats Perform takes a look at the best Opta facts surrounding their rivalry. 

16 years on from their first meeting, the duo have certainly become familiar with one another. They have met more often than any other male pair in the open era, with Djokovic triumphing on 30 occasions.

That impressive tally represents the most wins managed by any player against a single opponent in the open era.

The duo have also become accustomed to meeting on the biggest stages; this contest will be their 18th grand slam clash, surpassing Djokovic's record tally of 17 major matches against Roger Federer.

Meanwhile, the duo will face each other for a 10th time at the French Open (Nadal has seven wins, Djokovic two), becoming the first male duo to reach double figures for meetings at a particular grand slam in the open era, and will extend their record for the most encounters on clay courts with a 27th such match (Nadal versus Federer is second with 22).

While top seed Djokovic is bidding to replicate Nadal's record of 21 grand slam wins, a tally the Spaniard reached at this year's Australian Open, his opponent boasts an incredible record on clay.

Nadal's 97.3 per cent win ratio at the French Open is the highest of any player at a single open-era slam (minimum 20 wins), while Djokovic's 85 per cent win rate at Roland Garros is his worst such record at any grand slam – even if it is the third-highest ratio in the tournament's history (Bjorn Borg is second with 96.1 per cent).

Nadal has also reached the most French Open finals, with 13, winning all of them, while Djokovic has managed the second-most final appearances in Paris, with six. Three of those, however, ended with the Serb finishing as runner-up to the king of clay, as he did so in 2012, 2014, and 2020.

 

But Djokovic will hope to draw inspiration from his two previous victories over the world number five in the French capital. 

Having beaten the Spaniard in the 2015 quarter-finals and the 2021 semi-finals, Djokovic is one of just two players to have ever beaten Nadal at the French Open, along with Robin Soderling in 2009's fourth round.

One thing is for certain; their encounter is sure to provide quality. Nadal (88 per cent) and Djokovic (87.7 per cent) have the second- and third-highest grand slam win ratios in open-era history (Bjorn Borg is first with 89.2 per cent, minimum 100 wins). 

Casper Ruud described his French Open win over Hubert Hurkacz as the "perfect" way to tee up his first grand slam quarter-final appearance, as the eighth seed looks to extend the best major run of his career. 

Ruud downed Hurkacz 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3 in 2 hours and 31 minutes on Monday to make the last-eight of the singles draw at a grand slam for the first time in his career, bettering his run to the fourth round at the Australian Open last year.

The Norwegian will face talented teenager Holger Rune for a spot in the semi-finals after the 19-year-old became the first Danish man to reach a grand slam quarter-final in the Open era by eliminating Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Ruud said the win featured some of his best tennis this year.

"I feel good, of course. It's a good result. To make my first quarter-final here in Roland Garros means a lot. It's the first grand slam that I visited as a kid," he said.

"It's nice to get one of my best results of my career so far here. I hope I can continue the level of my tennis and [keep] the streak going.

"Today I think I played some of my best tennis this year for the first two sets. [In the] fourth set as well, I played well when I had to come back.

"I think that's a perfect way to go into a quarter-final for me. Hopefully I can reach a step or two or three more."

After recording his career-best major performance, Ruud – who lost his first ATP 1000 final to Carlos Alcaraz at the Miami Open in April – was keen to go further, saying he will only allow himself to look back upon the milestone at the end of his campaign.

"Well, I mean, of course, it's a new milestone. [But] when I'm playing the tournament, playing the match, I don't really think too much about it," he added.

"Of course, when I'm done with this or when this tournament is over for me, I will look back and think that I did a good job and did a good result and made my best result in a grand slam.

"It is going to change, of course, the way I think I look at the grand slams in the future, when you know you have reached a quarter-final one time. It has been a big goal for me this year, and to reach it is a good feeling.

"But of course, when you reach a goal, you make new goals. That's usually how it goes. My new goal will be in a few days' time to try to reach the semi-final."

With many of the game's biggest names, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz all landing on the opposite side of the draw to Ruud, the 23-year-old may not get too many better chances to enjoy a deep grand slam run.

And the Norwegian suggested pundits may have placed too much focus on a few big names in the build-up to Roland Garros, adding: "Before the tournament, there was, of course, already a lot of talk who the favourite was.

"I think everyone was talking about the top half of the draw with Nadal, Djokovic and Alcaraz of course there, [but] there are many other good players in the tournament." 

Iga Swiatek had to come from behind to see off Zheng Qinwen in the French Open fourth round, eventually winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 6-2.

The number one seed was given a scare in the first set, losing on a tie-break, but powered back to seal a win that was partly helped by an apparent thigh injury sustained by the Chinese teenager.

The first set looked to be going with form as Swiatek raced out to a 5-2 lead, only for Zheng to come back to 5-5 before forcing a tie-break.

Again, Swiatek took a 5-2 lead, but Zheng stormed back with five straight points to claim the first set.

The first set was just three minutes shorter than Swiatek's entire third-round victory over Danka Kovinic, taking 87 minutes to be completed.

Predictably, having lost a set for the first time at Roland Garros this year, Swiatek upped the tempo at the start of the second, again getting an early break before Zheng had treatment on the top of her right leg after going 3-0 down.

With the Pole motoring and Zheng with strapping on her leg, the game swung hugely in the former's favour as she breezed through the second set 6-0.

Zheng removed the strapping at the start of the third set but it made little immediate difference as Swiatek broke immediately.

However, Zheng soon rediscovered some of the fight she showed in the first set as she was able to halt an eight-game streak from her dominant opponent to hold serve in the third game of the decider, before troubling the 20-year-old on her own serve and then holding again.

The relentless Swiatek kept applying the pressure and eventually forced the second break, before serving out the match.

She will play number 11 seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals after the American also came from a set down to beat Irina-Camelia Begu on Monday.

Data Slam: Unstoppable Swiatek

Swiatek's growing winning streak is now at 32, which means only Serena Williams (34) and Venus Williams (35) having recorded longer streaks on the WTA Tour this century.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 32/39
Zheng – 21/46

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 2/1
Zheng – 4/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 7/14
Zheng – 2/10

Stefanos Tsitsipas branded his performance against Holger Rune "ridiculous", admitting he allowed his frustrations to get the better of him on court during his shock last-16 exit at the French Open.

Having finished as runner-up at Roland Garros last year, the fourth seed crashed out in the fourth round this time around, going down 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4 to the Danish teenager, who had only managed one previous win over a top-five opponent. 

The three-hour contest began with Tsitsipas earning an early break, but the Greek went on to struggle against the 19-year-old, who became the first Danish player to reach a grand slam quarter-final during the open era.

Speaking during his post-match press conference, a visibly emotional Tsitsipas admitted he struggled to apply enough pressure on Rune, highlighting his own lack of rhythm on court.

"Great match from his side, but I have to say it was a very bad management from my side," he said.

"I was struggling a lot the last couple of days in terms of finding my rhythm. I was very nervous on the court, being frustrated a lot, and I knew I was this way, but I couldn't stop being like this.

"I was a completely different player once I stepped into the court, taking returns [too] early.

"I think we could see that in the last two service games of his, I was really able to apply a lot of pressure; it was day and night, pretty much, that transformation.

"I just, you know, didn't have my mind completely there when I had to make those changes. It came way too late on in that match, way too late.

"I wasn't really applying a lot of pressure, it was ridiculous at a point, and again I was stubborn, I was stubborn to change it. I need to adjust way quicker, it's too late for this stuff."

Tsitsipas, who squandered a two-set lead in his 2021 final defeat to Novak Djokovic in the French capital, had been tipped by many to repeat his run to the final after landing on the opposite side of the draw to pre-tournament favourites Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

But the Greek refuted suggestions the pressure that comes with a supposedly kinder draw had hindered his performances, telling reporters: "Absolutely not. I don't watch draws, I don't watch my next opponents. 

"I pretty much know the progress and the way I need to do things in order to get to where I was last year, and that doesn't come easy, for sure.

"Of course, I knew I'm going to have to play difficult opponents that know how to play on this surface, but mentally, physically, tennis-wise, I felt good.

"It's just that I had a few troubles in practice. Again, back to frustration, back to not understanding certain things and certain patterns that I was trying to impose.

"He [Rune] is a very emotional player, he can play great, he absolutely deserves this victory, [he] played better, faced tough moments better. But I can see something different next time with this opponent. I'm pretty convinced I can do way better.

"This is not where I've maxed out, let's say. I didn't give myself the opportunity to max out. I didn't give myself the opportunity to go all the way and that is a shame."

Stefanos Tsitsipas is out of the French Open after being beaten by Danish teenager Holger Rune in the fourth round on Monday.

Tsitsipas earned an early break, but things soon started to unravel as he lost the first set.

The Greek number four seed came back to even things up in the second, but had no answer for Rune's power and precision as his opponent won in four sets, 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Rune - earning just his second ever win over a top five opponent - is the first Danish men's player to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era.

The contest lasted just over three hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier, and Rune thanked the crowd for the part they played.

"I have an unbelievable feeling right now," the 19-year-old said in his on-court interview. "I was so nervous at the end but the crowd was amazing for me the whole match, the whole tournament.

"I am so grateful and so happy to be playing on this court. You guys are amazing.

"I was very nervous but I know at the same time that if I go away from my tactics against a player like Tsitsipas I am going to lose for sure.

"I told myself just to keep at it and play my plan in the tough moments. It worked out so well in the end and gave me a huge confidence boost. It is just so great to still be here."

Rune will play Norwegian Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals after the number eight seed beat 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz earlier on Monday.

Sixteen years after they first met in a grand slam Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will do battle in another mouthwatering French Open quarter-final on Tuesday.

Two of the all-time greats have locked horns 58 times in their illustrious careers, but only two of those meetings have been in the last eight of a major.

The first of those was in their first meeting, which happened to be at the same stage at Roland Garros back in 2006.

Nadal progressed to the semi-finals on that occasion as Djokovic retired at 6-4 6-4 down and the legendary Spaniard went on to defend his title and double his tally of major triumphs.

He has gone on to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires a record 13 times and no man can boast more than his tally of 21 grand slam titles.

Yet Nadal comes into the latest instalment of their rivalry under the lights on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the unfamiliar position of not being a strong favourite to prevail.

While world number one and defending champion Djokovic has not dropped a set in his four matches in Paris, Nadal needed five sets to get the better of Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday.

Nadal had to draw on all of his fight, skill and experience to see off the Canadian in an enthralling contest that had spectators on the edge of their seats for four hours and 21 minutes.

Djokovic beat Nadal in four sets the last time they faced each other in this tournament last year and the Serb went on to be crowned French Open champion for the second time.

The top seed from Belgrade would move level with Nadal's haul of major crowns if he triumphs at Roland Garros once again on Sunday.

Djokovic holds a superior record of 30-28 in his head-to-head with Nadal, but the latter has won seven of their nine matches at Roland Garros.

Nadal started his favourite tournament with only five matches on clay under his belt this season after recovering from a foot injury, but he is relishing the challenge of facing one of his biggest rivals.

He said: "I didn't play this kind of matches for the last three months, so it's going to be a big challenge for me. Of course he already won I think nine matches in a row, winning in Rome and now winning here in straight sets every match.

"Probably he will be confident. I know what my situation is, and I accept it well. I am gonna fight for it, that's it."

Djokovic hopes being the fresher of the two will be crucial.

"Nadal is obviously a well-anticipated match I think when the draw came out for a lot of people. I'm glad that I didn't spend too much time on the court up to quarter-finals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle, along with everything else," he said.

"It's a huge challenge and probably the biggest one that you can have here in Roland Garros."

While Djokovic did not spend much time on court in the first week in Paris, he could be in for a late night when the two tussle in what could be yet another epic.

Daria Kasatkina feels she has cut the "kid bulls***" out of her game after securing a straight-sets win over Camila Giorgi to reach the French Open quarter-finals.

The Russian delivered a convincing 6-2 6-2 victory over the Italian with a convincingly mature performance, to reach the last eight at Roland Garros for the second time in her career.

Kasatkina has yet to drop a set and has conceded just 14 games across her four matches at Roland Garros so far.

The 20th seed has previously spoken about wanting to showcase a more mature approach to her game, and mooted that she has increased her focus in her overall performances.

"Why are you asking me this?" Kasatkina quipped in her post-game briefing before laughing when asked in what ways she has matured – and where she has not.

"I want to say I've become much more mature and that's it. [I'm] not thinking how exactly.

"But as I said, with the decisions on the court, with my time management off the court as well I'm trying to be more focused on what I'm doing, what is important, not the kid bulls***, let's say.

"And that's it, because it's very tough to keep the focus and it's very easy to lose it. So I'm working a lot to be more focused on my job."

Kasatkina will face compatriot Veronika Kudermetova in the last eight after she fought back to beat American Madison Keys.

Sixteen years after their rivalry began with a Roland Garros quarter-final, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will do battle again in the last eight of the French Open.

Nadal promised he will be "focused" for the big occasion, set to come on Tuesday, while Djokovic said he was ready for "a physical battle, along with everything else".

They could hardly have had more contrasting wins to set up that eagerly awaited match, however, with Djokovic enjoying a 6-1 6-3 6-3 Sunday stroll past Diego Schwartzman, before Nadal was pushed almost to his limit by Felix Auger-Aliassime, scraping a 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory in four hours and 21 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime has Nadal's uncle, Toni Nadal, on his coaching team now, but the 21-year-old Canadian played down that factor before the match, and it was a mere sideshow to the spectacle that unfolded.

Now Nadal and Djokovic can prepare for centre stage. The illustrious pair have never collided as early as the quarter-final stage at any other grand slam, but their clash in Paris will be a third such last-eight clash at the French major.

All matches considered, it will be a 59th career meeting, with Djokovic up to now holding a 30-28 lead in the head-to-head.

Nadal leads 10-7 in their grand slam matches, however, and has a 7-2 record in their Roland Garros past encounters, albeit losing the last of those in last year's semi-final.

The very first match between the pair came at Roland Garros in the 2006 quarter-finals, when Djokovic retired at 6-4 6-4 behind, giving up due to a back injury during the first game of the third set.

Nine years later, Djokovic thrashed Nadal 7-5 6-3 6-1 at the same stage to end the Spaniard's five-year all-conquering reign on the French capital's clay courts.

Djokovic called the upcoming reunion "a well-anticipated match", and he was delighted to get the job done quickly against an overwhelmed Schwartzman. The world number one has yet to drop a set in four matches in Paris, and that follows on from his triumph at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome where he raced to the title without dropping a set either.

Assessing the Nadal prospect, Djokovic said: "I'm glad that I didn't spend too much time on the court myself up to the quarter-finals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle, along with everything else."

The "everything else" element of that may mean the feverish backing that Nadal is likely to receive, but Djokovic wants his tennis to do the talking.

"It's a huge challenge and probably the biggest one that you can have here in Roland Garros," said the Serbian. "I'm ready for it. I like the way I have been feeling, the way I have been hitting the ball. I will focus on what I need to do."

This is a first match of the year between Djokovic and Nadal. They have played each other at least once every year since that 2006 first encounter.

After describing Auger-Aliassime as "without a doubt one of the best players in the world", Nadal, who is again battling the foot problem that has plagued his career, turned his focus to the man who surely currently tops that list.

Nadal is nevertheless one ahead of Djokovic on the all-time list of most grand slam titles, having won the Australian Open in January when Djokovic was prevented from competing to move to 21 major successes.

Booing broke out when Djokovic's name was mentioned in Nadal's post-match on-court interview, an early indication that the record 13-time French Open champion will have the crowd's support.

"Of course we know each other well. We have a lot of history together," Nadal said. "He came here after winning Rome, and for me it has been not the ideal situation to arrive here.

"But here we are in Roland Garros, it is my favourite place without a doubt, and the only thing I can tell you is I will be focused. I don't know what will happen, but the only thing I can guarantee is I am going to fight until the end."

The last time Nadal and Djokovic met so early in any tournament was in May 2016 on clay in Rome, when Djokovic beat Nadal in straight sets but went on to lose to Andy Murray in the final.

Since then there have been four semi-finals and five finals between the pair, Nadal edging those matches five wins to four. This is knife-edge tennis, not to be missed.

American tennis player Coco Gauff threw her support behind the Miami Heat after defeating Elise Mertens 6-4 6-0 in the fourth round of the French Open.

Gauff, the 18th seed, has not lost a set through the first four rounds, booking a quarter-final showdown against compatriot Sloane Stephens.

After her latest win, she signed the camera with support for the Heat in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics.

Speaking to the media after leaving the court, Gauff said she has not been able to watch the series because of the time difference in France, but she thinks her Heat can go all the way.

"I haven't watched actually any games, because the games have been way too early or late, I don't know what you want to even call it," she said. "I wake up in the morning and watch the score.

"I feel like, really, I do believe we are going to win, and I think whoever - I hope, not even going to put that possibility out there, but I think whoever wins this game is going to win the championship.

"I love the Warriors. I really do. I think Steph Curry and that team is really one of the best teams we are ever going to see. I think we are better. I think it's just about the culture we have."

Game 7 will be played on Sunday in Miami.

Rafael Nadal set up the blockbuster quarter-final against Novak Djokovic that the French Open has been waiting for, but he was pushed all the way by Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The 13-time champion emerged as a winner by a 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 scoreline in four hours and 21 minutes of dramatic duelling on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Those inside the stadium court roared with the fervour of football supporters as Nadal crossed the winning line, a day after watching his beloved Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League final at the Stade de France.

If defending champion Djokovic watched this, he would have observed chinks in the Nadal armour, but the great Spaniard's commitment to his craft remains resolute. He hates losing, could not abide the thought of tumbling out in the fourth round, and duly pulled out every stop to avoid that happening.

Looking ahead to the tussle with Djokovic, Nadal said afterwards: "I don't know what will happen, but the only thing I can guarantee is I am going to fight until the end."

Nadal dropped serve in the fourth game of the match and again in the sixth to trail 5-1, and he began the recovery from there, snatching a break back.

Although he had been unable to retrieve the opening set, Nadal was suddenly dialled in. At 35, coming up for 36 in the coming week, he is 14 years Auger-Aliassime's senior and has a dodgy foot, but Nadal's movement was somehow still that of a young man.

From 3-3 in the second set, Nadal won six of the next seven games to take command, soon snatching a second break in set three as he accelerated away from a player who until this year had never won a match at Roland Garros.

Making it to the fourth round signifies progress on Auger-Aliassime's part but facing the master of these courts was always a tall order. It was to the ninth seed's enormous credit that he gave the match a fresh twist by breaking twice early in the fourth set and forcing the decider.

At 4-3 in the fifth, on serve, Nadal had a break-point opportunity and his tiring legs carried him to stunning heights when he moved Auger-Aliassime into trouble at the net with a delicious, dipping backhand, and then dashed towards the net to dink a winner out of his opponent's reach.

This time Auger-Aliassime did not come back. On match point in the next game, Nadal sent a forehand into an open court after manoeuvring Auger-Aliassime out of position once more, and it brought the house down. He now has 109 wins from 112 singles matches at this tournament.

Data slam: Nadal goes the distance, finds a way

Only three times has Nadal played a fifth set at the French Open, and he has won them all, defeating John Isner in the 2011 first round and Djokovic in the 2013 semi-finals, and now Auger-Aliassime.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Nadal – 47/41
Auger-Aliassime – 50/54

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 3/4
Auger-Aliassime – 7/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 6/22
Auger-Aliassime – 4/9

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