Familiar results at French Open as Nadal, Swiatek advance

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Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Britain's Cameron Norrie during their third round match on day 7, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS – Iga Swiatek closed out her latest French Open victory and raised a triumphant right fist. Rafael Nadal won less than half an hour later and celebrated with a left uppercut.

The two defending champions make for a potent one-two combination at Roland Garros, where both won going away Saturday to reach the fourth round.

Swiatek rallied from a break down in the opening set to beat Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (4), 6-0. Nadal was unfazed at losing serve twice in a row in the second set and eliminated Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Nadal, 35, advanced to the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the 50th time. He's trying to add to his record 13 French Open crowns and seeks his 21st major title, which would break the men’s record he shares with Roger Federer.

As Nadal spoke to the crowd after his match, fans reminded the Spaniard of his title total by shouting “treize!” — 13 in French.

“Can you repeat that?” he responded in English with a smile.

Nadal will next play 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, who is seeded 18th.

“He's young, he's improving every week, he has big shots," Nadal said. “I need to be solid. I need to be aggressive too. I need to make him play from tough positions. It’s the fourth round — you can't expect an easy opponent.”