Nadal into 12th French Open quarter-final

Darren Walton
Rafael Nadal has won through to the quarter-finals of the French Open

Another day, another milestone for Rafael Nadal with the king of clay surging into a record-equalling 12th French Open quarter-final in Paris.

Nadal resisted a spirited challenge from German surprise packet Maximilian Marterer to advance to the last eight with a 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-4) fourth-round victory on Monday.

The Spanish top seed had to recover from a service break down in both the second and third sets to see off the 70th-ranked Marterer after two hours and 30 minutes neat.

Marterer was only the 11th man in 50 years of professional tennis to make the last 16 on debut at Roland Garros, and first since Nadal won the first of his record 10 titles in Paris in 2005.

The 22-year-old was anything but overawed on Court Philippe Chatrier, breaking Nadal in the opening game of the match featuring the last two left-handers in the men's draw.

Nadal responded to reel off five straight games to assert his dominance.

Undeterred, Marterer continued attacking the 17-times major winner, the underdog's sustained aggression earning him a 3-1 lead in the third set.

But after breaking back and forcing a tiebreaker, Nadal regained control to post his 900th tour-level win and progress to a last-eight meeting with Argentina's 11th seed Diego Schwartzman.

Schwartzman needed nine minutes shy of four hours to defeat South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson 1-6 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 in a mighty comeback win over the 2017 US Open runner-up.

Nadal's 12th quarter-final appearance in Paris matches the mark of Novak Djokovic, who plays unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato on Tuesday.

Nadal's latest victory, his 234th at a major, also moved the world No.1 past Jimmy Connors into outright third place for most wins at a grand slam behind Roger Federer (332) and Djokovic (244).