Rafa Nadal into French Open quarters without dropping a set

Maria Sharapova will meet Serena Williams in the fourth round

Rafael Nadal can still win this French Open, but he will have to carry the late momentum of his rain-interrupted fightback against the redoubtable Diego Schwartzman into the resumption on Thursday if he is not to be the author of his own exit from a tournament he virtually owns.

Nonetheless, Nadal was there to fight and he came back stronger after the first rain delay, overcoming the deficit and serving for the set at 5-3 (30-15) when the rain finally closed this day of tennis.

Schwartzman, the 11th seed, was certainly playing out of his skin, but even that should have not been enough to trouble a Nadal playing anywhere near his peak. But after a lengthy delay, Schwartzman ended Nadal's run of 37-straight sets won at Roland Garros - a run that stretched back to 2015.

Nadal, who lost only two points in the first five games, will next play Germany's world number 70 Maximilian Marterer.

An off-balance Marterer could only net a forehand to gift the world number one a second break for 5-2 and the German fell two sets behind when a wild return flew well wide.

The players were forced off the court for 40 minutes, but when they returned Nadal levelled for 3-3 and let out a trademark roar of vamos.

Nadal will next play 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, who rallied to beat Kevin Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (0), 6-2.

Going into the quarterfinal clash at Roland Garros, Nadal had not lost a set at the tournament since his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals, but Schwartzman took the opening set 6-4. And past year, he earned the trophy without dropping a set.

Sharapova made 27 unforced errors, was broken six times and served six double faults in only her fifth loss from 25 Grand Slam quarter-finals.

Halep won in 59 minutes with the second set taking just 22 minutes.

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