Birthday boy Nadal in last-8

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Rafael Nadal earned his second straight sets victory in succession as his challenge for an eighth French Open title gathered pace with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Japan’s Kei Nishikori to secure a quarter-final spot on Monday.
Troubled in his first two rounds where he had to come from a set back, Nadal celebrated his 27th birthday in style with a brutal demolition of 13th seed Nishikori.

Only in the first set did Nishikori, looking to become only the second Japanese man to reach the last eight in Paris, offer any sort of challenge to the defending champion.
Nadal broke serve with the aid of a fortunate net cord in the fifth game of the opener and that proved enough for him to take the first set.
Nishikori had a glimmer of a chance when he had a break point in the second game of set two but failed to convert it and was broken in the next game when he flailed a high backhand volley into the tramlines.
“To celebrate my birthday here on centre court in Paris is a very special moment for me,” Nadal said courtside before a huge birthday cake was wheeled on to court.
Third seed Nadal will face the winner of Stanislas Wawrinka against Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, World no. 1 Novak Djokovic reached his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final to set-up a clash against evergreen Tommy Haas for a spot in the French Open semi-finals.
Top seed Djokovic carved out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over 16th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber with the German paying a high price for converting just two of 13 break points.
German 35-year-old Haas, meanwhile, became the third oldest man to reach the last-eight with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over volatile Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
“I needed to earn my victory, and in the end it was good. I’m really glad to get through, because he’s a good quality opponent and he’s a specialist for this surface,” said Djokovic.
Haas, who made history in the third round when he needed a record 13 match points to beat John Isner, eased past Youzhny in just 84 minutes.
In women’s section, third seed Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open quarter-finals for the third time on Monday with a 6-3, 6-0 win over 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone.
The double Australian Open champion will now face Russian 12th seed Maria Kirilenko for a semi-final place.
Paes, Jelena in mixed doubles rd 2
Leander Paes kept the Indian challenge alive in the mixed doubles event of the French Open by moving to the second round along with partner Jelena Jankovic.
The unseeded Indo-Serbian pair registered a 7-5, 6-3 win over Galina Voskoboeva and Daniele Bracciali in one hour and 16 minutes. Paes is now only Indian surviving in the event as Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have all exited with their respective partners after suffering first round defeats.
Sania’s defeat with new Swede partner was shocking as they were given the top billing. They lost to Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Cara Black.

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