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Nadal, Djokovic, Almagro, Gulbis Reach Quarters

Rafael Nadal keeps getting better at Roland Garros.

The world's second-ranked player turned in one of his most efficient matches at the French Open on Sunday, beating No. 22 Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0, 6-2.

"I wish all my matches were like this one," Nadal said. "Here we don't want to have mercy for anybody."

Nadal will next face Nicolas Almagro, who beat French wildcard Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Djokovic beat home favourite Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

Djokovic committed just 19 unforced errors and rifled 14 aces in the match that lasted 2 hours, 20 minutes.

"I've been serving really well in all four matches and it's really encouraging for the future as it's something I want to have as a weapon," said Djokovic.

"If I can rely on serve, then I'm relieved, you know, through the game. So then I can focus myself more on the baseline strokes."

"I think I was focused a lot today. I used the momentum and just tried to be smart, change the pace a lot."

He now meets Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis, who extended his excellent run with a straight sets victory over another Frenchman, Michael Llodra, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3.

The 19-year-old arrived in Paris without consecutive victories to his name this year, and having not won a tie-break.

"Going into Roland Garros, I didn't think the French Open would be where I'd have my best grand slam result," said Gulbis. "But I practiced well and worked on my physical condition and I changed some tactics. One year ago I was playing some pretty stupid clay court tennis. I'd go for winners when I didn't need to and it was more hard court tennis. Now I play like a clay-courter and only go for winners when it's possible."

(source BBC Sport, FOX Sports,
photo/Getty Images via Daylife)

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