However, things got complicated at 5-0 as Gasquet won three games in a row, a service break included, but world No. 1 Nadal halted his opponent's revival in the next game. It was only a brief rally, as Nadal responded in his usual clinical way.
"Once he's ahead", Gasquet lamented, "it becomes impossible". After earning applause from Nadal following a superb cushioned drop shot at the net, he ended that game with an ace.
Nadal clinched victory on his first match point when Gasquet chopped a backhand long.
The 27th-seeded Frenchman has not even taken a set off Nadal in 11 straight matches, including this latest one-sided affair. The top-ranked Spaniard next faces unseeded German Maximilian Marterer in their first career meeting. "To be on this stage playing a Grand Slam final, and to come out with a win, and to say now for the rest of my life that I'm a Grand Slam champion, it's awesome".
Sharapova advanced Saturday with a similarly lopsided win hours earlier, beating 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-1.
Anderson is into the fourth round in Paris for the fourth time; he's never made it past that stage.
Unseeded Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation has reached the round of 16 for the second consecutive year, eliminating 15th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the resumption of a suspended match. Overall, it was Italy's day in Paris. "We met each other first time when we were 12".
Williams dominated for stretches against 11th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany, playing cleanly right from the start of a 6-3, 6-4 tour de force at Court Suzanne Lenglen that lasted a mere 75 minutes Saturday and lacked much in the way of theatrics. Other women moving into the fourth round included 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, two-time runner-up Simona Halep, two-time major title victor Angelique Kerber and reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.
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He beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (4), ending fading French hopes as the evening sun dimmed on Court No. 18. However, the women's draw wasn't without an upset.
The match lasted just 59 minutes. But her luck ran out as the Czech lost 7-6 (6) 7-6 (4).
"You know me, you know my temper", Monfils said to the umpire during the next changeover. What I know is I go to the court, and I know that I could very well lose. And I'm pretty sad that the clay season is finishing.
"As a fan, I wanted to read the book and I was really excited for it to come out and I was really happy for her".
Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain has crushed Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round of the French Open.
Sloane Stephens is through to the fourth round of the French Open for a fifth time in her seven visits to Roland Garros.
The 18th-seeded Fognini hadn't reached the fourth round since 2011, when he lost in the quarterfinals. Nadal wins 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the third round. He made it to the last-eight pairs in 2011and 2016 also. They are the only active women with a career Grand Slam; they are two of only six in history to accomplish that. They next face Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya.
Goerges reached the last 16 at Roland Garros in 2015, but Serena should have plenty of added motivation knowing that victory could give her the chance to notch an incredible 19th consecutive win over long-time rival and five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova.