Holder Rafael Nadal of Spain bulldozed into the French Open quarter-finals with an awe-inspiring 6-2 6-0 6-0 demolition of Argentine 13th seed Juan Monaco on Monday.
Second seed Nadal, gunning to become the first man to win seven Roland Garros titles, trailed Monaco 2-1 in the first set before winning the remaining 17 games to stay undefeated on Court Suzanne Lenglen since his French Open debut in 2005.
Monaco came out with all guns blazing but quickly hit the Rafa wall, with the Spaniard ending his opponent’s ordeal after one hour and 46 minutes on his first match point.
Nadal, who has dropped only 19 games in four matches, next faces compatriot Nicolas Almagro, the 12th seed, for a
place in the semi-finals.
Almagro came out smelling of flowers from his fourth-round after he landed in a heap on one of the courtside geranium displays – and emerged unscathed thanks to his “big bottom”.
The Spanish 12th seed was in full flow chasing down a Janko Tipsarevic shot when he suddenly found himself tangled amongst the brilliant white flower arrangement that borders the Suzanne Lenglen Court.
The bemused fans could not hold back their laughter as a dazed Almagro tried to extract himself from the oversized pale green rectangular pot and get back on to his feet.
“Well, yes, I fell into the flowers. I fell on my bottom, but I’ve got a big bottom so nothing happened,” a blushing Almagro told reporters after his 6-4 6-4 6-4 fourth-round win over Tipsarevic.
“Well, yes, I fell into the flowers. I fell on my bottom, but I’ve got a big bottom so nothing happened”
Spaniard Nicolas Almagro
“I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this moment when I landed in the flowers but nothing serious. I’m sitting now, so no problem, no concern whatsoever. It didn’t really hurt me.”
It is not the first time flower displays at Roland Garros have come under attack from players.
Dinara Safina once sent petals flying all over the court as she swiped her racket in anger during a match, decapitating several flower heads.
In other action, French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga spent just 26 minutes on court on Monday to wrap up a 6-4 7-6 3-6 3-6 6-4 fourth-round win against Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka after the match was interrupted by dusk on Sunday.
Juan Martin del Potro edged past Tomas Berdych in a battle of big-hitting baseliners to book his spot in the quarters, winning 7-6 1-6 6-3 7-5.
Brit Andy Murray also booked his place in the quarters on Monday with a 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 2-6 victory over France’s Richard Gasquet. He will play David Ferrer in the next round.