Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal takes on unseeded Georgia player Nikoloz Basilashvili in Men's singles third round match of 2017 French Open at Roland Garros Stadium on Friday.
The fourth seed heads into the tie on the back of a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 straight sets win over world number 46 Robin Haase in his second-round outing on Wednesday. On the other hand, Basilashvili, the world number 61, stunned higher-ranked Viktor Troicki 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) in a hard-fought match to set up his first ever meeting with Nadal.
With an eye on a historic 10th Roland Garros title, Nadal continued his superior form on the dirt into the tournament, which he last won in 2014. The 14-time Grand Slam champion has eased past Benoit Paire and Haase over the first two rounds and is looking good to overcome his third-round threat.
However, Basilashvili might prove to be a tricky opponent, considering his exploits in the ongoing tournament. The 25-year-old, who has reached the third round of a Grand Slam only for the second time after his R32 run at 2015 Wimbledon, came back from behind to stun world number 30 Gilles Simon 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round before he survived in the tightly-contested second round fixture against Troicki.
The Georgia youngster also reached the semi-final at Lyon last month, losing to eventual title winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The recent form and his win over top-10 players - Tomas Berdych and Dominic Thiem in the past - should give Basilashvili a lot of confidence ahead of his first meet against Nadal, but even his best might not be enough to stop the in-form Spaniard from sealing a place in the last-16.