Nadal on Sunday celebrated his 32nd birthday in style as the World No. 1 trounced Richard Gasquet in his third-round match to enter last 16 at Roland Garros.
The pair were regarded as two of the best young players of their generation as juniors, but Nadal has won 16 Grand Slam titles while Gasquet hasnever reached a final at the majors.
Maria Sharapova will return to the showpiece Court Philippe Chatrier for the first time while Rafael Nadal defends his 15-0 record over Richard Gasquet.
Alexander Zverev came through a marathon final set under the lights to win 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 39 minutes.
Next for Rafael Nadal, who had a first-round bye, is a third-round matchup with 24th-ranked countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Richard Gasquet advanced to the quarter-finals of the Winston-Salem Open while Fernando Verdasco also made smooth progress.
Nick Kyrgios was warned for bad language by umpire Mohamed Lahyani following an audible rant that included telling his support team to stop watching him after he lost the third set
Nick Kyrgios, Australia's highest-ranked male tennis player at 19 in the world, responded to the letter by declaring himself unavailable for selection, saying he had been subjected to "unwarranted attacks" from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)
Nick Kyrgios received a code violation at the French Open for shouting at a ball boy and was fined for an audible obscenity during his thrashing at the hands of Richard Gasquet
Andy Murray, the reigning Olympic champion, has set up a men's singles semi-final clash against defending champion Stan Wawrinka at the French Open.
Richard Gasquet started the day at Roland Garros as the sole French player -- male or female -- still standing after a disappointing first week for the big home contingent
Title holder Stan Wawrinka and reigning Olympic champion Andy Murray marched into the men's singles quarterfinals of the French Open.
Andy Murray has already spent on court a total of 7 hours 15 minutes in the 2016 French Open, spread over two five-setters against Czech veteran Radek Stepanek and French wildcard Mathias Bourgue
Roger Federer's freak knee accident - reportedly as he played with his children last Saturday in a Melbourne park following his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic - has caused major repercussions at the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament, which usually draws at least one world-class headliner.
Richard Gasquet, world number nine, had already pulled out of next week's season-opening Qatar Open after aggravating his long-standing back problem at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) second edition.
Richard Gasquet, the world number nine, aggravated his long-standing back problem at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) exhibition event.
Rafael Nadal lost a nail-biting deciding set to Milas Raonic as the Indian Aces went down to the Philippine Mavericks to end the International Premier Tennis League's Manila leg on a disappointing note.
The second seed, who had dropped just four games in reaching the last eight, was kept hard at it for two hours 38 minutes before edging into the semis 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 6-3.