Rafael Nadal
Nadal is favourite to reach the quarter-final at Roland Garros Reuters

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal takes on compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut in the Men's singles tie of 2017 French Open on Sunday in quest for a quarter-final berth.

Nadal, the nine-time champion, decimated world number 61 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 in straight sets in his R32 match on Friday. The Spaniard almost managed a triple bagel but let go off a game when he was 5-0 up in the second set.

On the other hand, 17th seed Bautista Agut makes a bid for his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final berth after beating Jiri Vesely in straight sets in his R32 match.

Nadal has given himself a good opportunity to win a historic 10th title at Roland Garros. Since returning from the injury layoff earlier this year, the world number five has looked a different player and he has been unbeatable on the dirt. WIth a 20-1 record and three consecutive titles on the trot this season on his favourite surface, the Spaniard showed glimpses of his vintage self with the demolition of Basilashvili, which proved as a warning signal to the rest of the pack.

Notably, Nadal, who pulled out from last year's French Open at the quarter-final round with a wrist injury, has beaten Bautista Agut in their only meeting at Madrid Masters semi-final in 2014, in which he last won the Roland Garros title. The Spaniard will start today's tie as the overwhelming favourite against his countryman, who also prefers the dirt over other surfaces.

However, Bautista Agut has had under-par performances in the ongoing clay season so far, with early exits at Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. Having been tested right from the first round, it seems unlikely that the 29-year-old will trouble Nadal in their second career meeting later today.

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