Rafael Nadal and Nikoloz Basilashvili face off for a place in the French Open 2017 fourth round
The Spaniard was on a mission to claim his 10th French Open title in front of the adoring Roland Garros crowd and had already cruised through his first two matches.
The 30-year-old beat France's Benoit Paire for the loss of just six games in his opening encounter before he beat Robin Haase too just two more off the legendary clay court player.
Then he came up against Basilashvili, whom he had never played in the senior ranks before and who had just achieved his highest ever world ranking of No44.
But Nadal's class and physicality was too much for Basilashvili to cope with and the nine-time French Open champion sealed his spot in an hour and a half to beat the imminent rain.
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Nadal will now face fellow countryman Roberto Bautista-Agut after he beat Jiri Vesely in straight sets.
French Open 2017 LIVE: Rafael Nadal v Nikoloz Basilashvili latest updates
(* denotes player to serve next)
RAFAEL NADAL WINS 6-0, 6-1, 6-0: Basilashvili saves his first match point but the second is a decent serve andthe return goes wide. That was the most emphatic of emphatic wins in just 90 minutes.
*Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 5-0 Basilashvili: Playing against Nadal can feel like playing a brick wall sometimes but Basilashvili saves three break points to give him some hope. However, the ball just keeps coming back and Nadal will serve for the match now.
Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 4-0 Basilashvili*: Nadal's first serve starts misfiring and all of a sudden, it's three break points to Basilashvili! But perhaps predictably, Nadal saves all three andthe Georgian can't find a way through at deuce having seen his first break points of the match slip through his fingers.
*Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 3-0 Basilashvili: Oh no. If it wasn't embarrassing 15 minutes ago, it really is now. Nadal breaks again and this time it's a Basilashvili double-fault that gives up the game. He's been broken seven times today.
Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 2-0 Basilashvili*: Nadal holds to 15, with the dropped point only courtesy of his own unforced error.
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*Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 1-0 Basilashvili: Well, now at least there is something of a battle on as Basilashvili saves a couple of break points.
However, his second serve is repeatedly far too short and Nadal is just seizing on it, making it very hard for his opponent to get out of the game.
That lasted eight minutes and eventually the world No44 flies a forehand well long to give away another break.
Nadal 6-0, 6-1 Basilashvili*: No surprise there as Nadal wins the game to 15 and takes the second set.
His serving has been particularly good today – he has lost just 18% of the points on his serve so far today and is getting good pace on them too.
*Nadal 6-0, 5-1 Basilashvili: Scenes! The crowd go wild – well, a bit wild – as Basilashvili jumps out to 40-0. He looks nervy as Nadal gets one point back but the Spaniard hits a backhand long and the Georgian is on the board!
Nadal 6-0, 5-0 Basilashvili*: Nadal holds. To love. He leads this match 11-0.
*Nadal 6-0, 4-0 Basilashvili: Well he had game point but a brilliant forehead down the line from Nadal forces his opponent to go to deuce.
A fine service return brings up break point and Basilashvili whacks one into the net. That's 10 games in a row.
Nadal 6-0, 3-0 Basilashvili*: Nadal has just been warned for time-wasting, which is not unusual, but it seems ironic at 40-15 when Basilashvili takes an age to change his racket. It seems to work as he hits a fine forehand winner but a big Nadal kick serve is too much to handle and the Spaniard wins his ninth straight game.
*Nadal 6-0, 2-0 Basilashvili: It's maginificent to watch Nadal at his best but you have to feel a bit sorry for his opponents on days like these. Even Marcus Willis managed a hold against Roger Federer eventually.
I want Basilashvili to get on the board. Maybe even Rafa does. But not yet.
Nadal 6-0, 1-0 Basilashvili*: Nothing changing with a new set and freshly swept court. Rafa looks extremely keen to get this done very, very quickly.
Rafael Nadal looked in complete control of the first set
*Nadal 6-0 Basilashvili: The Georgian gets himself to 30-15 but then a big, curving forehand switches the momentum and two points later, Nadal has the set, punching his 10th winner of the match past the helpless Basilashvili. That took just 23 minutes. Woof.
Nadal 5-0 Basilashvili*: Less than 20 minutes gone and Basilashvili is serving to stay in the match and is yet to hit a winner.
Nadal has won 20 points to his opponent six and this is a bit ugly.
*Nadal 4-0 Basilashvili: A forehand wide brings up two more break point opportunities and Nadal gobbles up the chance to pick up a double break.
Chatrier is hardly full and those present might not get much value for money on present pace.
Nadal 3-0 Basilashvili*: A speedy Nadal hold consolidates the break and all the pressure is back on the world No44.
*Nadal 2-0 Basilashvili: Classic Nadal hitting brings up two break points at 15-40 and the Georgian can't cope with the power of his Spanish opponent, whacking a defensive backhand into the net to find himself 2-0 down inside 10 minutes.
There is rain forecast for later this afternoon and Nadal would much rather be done before any of that.
Nadal 1-0 Basilashvili*: A relatively comfortable hold for Nadal in a couple of minutes. Already had a couple of big baseline trade-offs but the nine-time champion is always going to win them at Roland Garros.
12.10pm: The players are out now and it will be Rafael Nadal to serve first…
11.55am: Defending women's champion Garbine Muguruza has dispatched her third round opponent Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.
That means Court Philippe Chatrier is clear for Nadal and Basilashvili, who will be out on the clay to knock up in a matter of minutes.