31 May 2015

Nadal, Djokovic, Murray all win

11:05 am on 31 May 2015

Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the French Tennis Open last 16 as fellow grand slam heavyweights Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray put Australian young guns Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios in their place.

The Spanish tennis player and defending French Open champion Rafael Nad

The Spanish tennis player and defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Nadal, chasing a 10th Roland Garros title, will tackle American Jack Sock for a place in the quarter-finals after seeing off Russia's world No.120 Andrey Kuznetsov 6-1 6-3 6-2.

Top seed and world number one Djokovic reached the last 16 for the sixth straight year with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over 19-year-old Kokkinakis, while third-seeded Murray, twice a semi-finalist in Paris, cruised to a 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory over Kyrgios, who complained of an elbow injury.

Djokovic, bidding for a first Roland Garros title to complete a career grand slam, will face the French 20th seed Richard Gasquet for a spot in the quarter-finals.

There was no sign of the hip problem which bothered him in his second-round tie against Gilles Muller as he swept past his world No.84 opponent.

He fired 34 winners and didn't face a single break point in his one-hour, 49-minute win over the highly-rated wildcard.

Kyrgios, the 29th seed and bidding to add a first French Open last 16 place to his runs to the 2014 Wimbledon and 2015 Australian Open quarter-finals, wasn't helped by requiring a medical timeout late in the second set against Murray.

Murray, who fired 12 aces and 45 winners while Kyrgios was undone by 37 unforced errors, goes on to face unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who surprised 17th-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-3 6-4 6-2.

It was 28-year-old Murray's third successive win over Kyrgios, all without dropping a set, as he took his record on clay this year to 13-0.

"I used variety and slice, tried to mix it up to break his rhythm and it seemed to work," said Murray, who said he knew Kyrgios wasn't serving at his full power as the match progressed.

"At the beginning he was serving big, over 200 kilometres an hour, and then started slowing down to 170, 180, and not really going for aces."

Kyrgios, who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon last year and beat Roger Federer in Madrid this month, said Murray was a different proposition.

"Andy is one of the best defenders at the moment," he said.

"But I wasn't near 100 per cent today."

Marin Cilic, the ninth-seeded US Open champion, continued his quiet progress to reach the fourth round for the third time.

The 26-year-old eased past Leonardo Mayer, the Argentine 23rd seed, 6-3 6-2 6-4 and will take on either 2013 runner-up David Ferrer or Simone Bolelli for a quarter-final slot.

For the first time since 1971, six French players will play the fourth round at their home slam after Richard Gasquet beat South African Kevin Anderson to progress.