Paris, June 2: Rafael Nadal continued his march towards a 12th French Open title by beating Juan Ignacio Londero in the fourth round on Sunday.
Reigning champion Nadal triumphed 6-2 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes on a sweltering Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Despite it being a straight-sets win it was by no means serene, but grand slam debutant Londero – who won his first ATP Tour title in February, just his fourth tournament at that level – was unable to match the clinical finishing of the 'King of Clay' at key moments.
A spectator was ejected following a couple of interruptions in the second set of a match that at times looked uncomfortable for Nadal, though he lifted his level when required to reach the quarter-finals.
Nadal seemingly did not want to waste any time and broke at the first opportunity, but Londero hung in a rally to earn three shots at getting back on serve while 3-1 down.
The Spaniard snuffed them out and held with an exquisite backhand that cleaned the line, with Londero a set down soon after when he went wide with a forehand.
Noises from the crowd twice interrupted the early stages of the second set and an individual was escorted out of the stadium.
Nadal's progress continued unchecked and he showed great tenacity to chase down a volley from Londero and respond with a cross-court winner in game five.
Londero missed with an overhead smash from the baseline to give the 11-time champion the breakthrough and he served out the set after passing up a chance to finish it off in the prior game.
The Argentine staved off three break points to start the third but, after failing to capitalise on one of his own, his resistance crumbled.
Nadal charged down a drop shot from Londero to move 4-1 up, only for Londero to hit straight back by winning four successive points against serve.
The world number 78 followed it up with a hold to love that only delayed an inevitable victory for Nadal, who converted his first match point in game nine.
STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN Rafael Nadal bt Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2 6-3 6-3
WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS Nadal - 40/25 Londero - 23/30
ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS Nadal - 6/1 Londero - 4/2
BREAK POINTS WON Nadal - 6/12 Londero - 1/5
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE Nadal - 71 Londero - 57
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE Nadal - 74/59 Londero - 63/37
TOTAL POINTS Nadal - 92 Londero - 66