Sport Tennis Regal Rafa coasts into the quarter-finals

Regal Rafa coasts into the quarter-finals

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Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal has stormed into a French Open quarterfinal showdown against compatriot David Ferrer, while Andy Murray will face childhood friend Gael Monfils, France’s last man standing.

With the abdication of King Juan Carlos on his mind on Monday, world number one Nadal brushed aside the outclassed Dusan Lajovic, the world 83 from Serbia, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.

He was at his ruthless, efficient best against Lajovic, who claimed a paltry 15 points off the champion’s serve.

Watched by US rocker Prince, who played a concert in the French capital on Sunday night, Nadal, seeking to become the first man to win five French Opens in a row, needed just 93 minutes to go through to a last-eight showdown with Ferrer.

The two men met in last year’s final, where Nadal allowed his 32-year-old Davis Cup teammate just eight games.

Despite his Philippe Chatrier court mauling, Lajovic at least had the consolation of avoiding the worst Roland Garros rout handed out by Nadal.

That unwanted record belongs to Juan Monaco, who won just two games in a fourth round drubbing in 2012.

Such was the ease of Nadal’s latest Paris win that he spent most of his time at his post-match news conference discussing the abdication of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

“He is a wonderful person who was a great representative of our country and Spain should thank him,” said Nadal whose record in Paris now reads 63 wins and one defeat.

“I had the opportunity to meet him on quite a few occasions. He was always very nice and warm towards me. He made me feel very comfortable every time we met.”

Nadal holds a 21-6 advantage over Ferrer in their career meetings but it was his compatriot who won their most recent clash in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals in April.

Ferrer reached his 10th successive Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1 win over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

Ferrer had beaten Anderson, who was hoping to be the first South African man in the last eight since Cliff Drysdale in 1967, at the same stage of the tournament last year.

“Tactically, I will have to be perfect against Rafa,” said Ferrer.

British seventh seed Murray defeated Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (7) to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth time.

Wimbledon champion Murray, whose best run in Paris was a semi-final spot in 2011, will face French 23rd seed Monfils after extending his record over Verdasco to 10-1.

“I’m looking forward to the next match with Gael, it should be a great atmosphere,” said Murray of a rivalry which began when the two were children playing in Les Petits As tournament in the French town of Tarbres.

“I first played Gael when I was 10 and he was 11.”

Monfils reached his fourth Roland Garros quarter-final with a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 win over unseeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the man who put out third-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.