Defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time winner Rafael Nadal progressed to fourth round of the French Open with straight-sets wins in Paris on Friday.
Djokovic and Nadal will face each other in the quarterfinal if the two win their fourth-round matches against Argentine Diego Schwartzman and Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, respectively.
Serbian world no. 1 Djokovic beat world no. 195 Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour 44 minutes on the Philippe-Chatrier Court. "It's not possible to play perfectly but to strive to play close to perfection," Djokovic said in an on-court interview.
"I want to play my characteristic game, my aggressive game. It is not always possible but today it was very good."
Fifth-seeded Nadal took two hours 11 minutes to defeat 26th-seeded Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 on the Suzanne-Lenglen Court.
"I had my chance with a break point for 5-0 then match was over but he made a great second serve," Nadal said on court. "Then I played a bad game with my serve and he started to play aggressive and you feel a bit of nerves to finish the match.
"Straight sets, it was my best match of the tournament for two sets and a half."
Schwartzman, seeded 15th, had a comfortable 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 win over 18th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in his third-round match. However, ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime had to work hard to go past Serbian Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), 7-5 in three hours.
Djokovic has a win-loss record of 6-0 against Schwartzman. However, in their last French Open meeting which was a third-round match in 2017, the Serbian was stretched to five sets before triumphing 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in three hours 19 minutes.
Nadal and Auger-Aliassime have played against each other only once - second round of the 2019 Madrid Masters which the Spaniard won 6-3, 6-3.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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