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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Nadal & Federer into round four
Roger Federer
Tournament favourites Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal remain on course for a French Open semi-final showdown after both reached the last 16 on Friday.

Federer continued his pursuit of a first French Open title with an impressive win 7-6 (11-9) 7-5 6-2 over Fernando Gonzalez.

And Nadal then beat fellow 18-year-old Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-2.

Federer will play former champion Carlos Moya next, while Nadal takes on Sebastien Grosjean.

Top seed Federer was delighted to see off the dangerous Gonzalez in straight sets, especially having faced two set points in the opening set tie-break.

The Swiss took control midway through the second and hit top form in a hugely impressive third set.

The level of tennis is moving
Roger Federer

Federer lost in the third round last year to three-times champion Gustavo Kuerten, so was especially pleased to progress.

"That's one step further than last year," he said. "Today was dangerous. It was all about handling his pace on his forehand so I am happy to get through.

"I lost at this stage last year to Guga, but he's a better player than Gonzalez. I have to improve every year but I am not the only one improving.

"The level of tennis is moving."

Nadal gave emphatic evidence of his title credentials against the in-form Gasquet, breaking the Frenchman in the first game and never looking back.

A partisan home crowd did their best to lift Gasquet but after just one hour 49 minutes, Nadal had wrapped up his 20th straight victory.

"That was excellent," said Nadal afterwards. "The French crowd were very fair.

"Gasquet is a great player and I expect to see him in the top 10 very soon."

The Spaniard added: "There was a lot of talk about this match and that created pressure.

"But also the pressure of playing at home was extra for him and that probably affected him and worked in my favour. I was very strong on court.

"The bounce was also high and that wasn't good for him. The next matches will become more complicated. I will do my best but I can lose at any time."

Gasquet said: "The heat was really a problem. I had a problem resisting the heat during three sets. I found it very hard today."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Day Five at the French Open


News conference: Roger Federer


News conference: Rafael Nadal



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