Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal kept his hopes alive for a tenth title at Roland Garros as he brushed aside fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to march into the quarterfinals. Nadal produced some breathtaking tennis all through the match as he decimated Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Nadal has been in red-hot form all through the Grand Slam, just conceding 20 games on his way to the quarterfinals. Nadal shall now face another Spaniard in the in the quarterfinal
But all was not entirely serene, with Nadal getting into a spat with umpire Carlos Ramos and seeming to threaten to have him stood down in future.
On one first-set changeover, when Ramos called him for a time violation, Nadal told him in their native tongue: ‘You are going to have to give me many more warnings in this match because you are not going to be in the chair again.’
Later, Ramos deducted him a first serve for playing too slowly again, although, much of the problem is down to the officials haphazardly enforcing the twenty-second rule between points at the Grand Slams.
‘Sometimes I feel I’m under pressure during the whole match,’ complained Nadal. ‘You have to let players breathe a little. This umpire is, I think, trying to look for my faults. This is the impression I have.’
The time violation in tennis is perhaps the most abused rule in any sport. But beyond the unlikely event of it being tightened up, it is hard to see what else can disrupt Nadal’s serene progress this fortnight.