The Italian, however, recovered well to take the final two sets by 6-4 scorelines to book his spot in the last 16.
"Of course I have won a lot and it can influence my opponents". He's a player that has a good serve, good forehand. "That's it. I do my best every time", he said. To wit: He was facing the mighty Nadal - victor of all 16 matches this pair has played against each other as professionals - and on red clay, to boot.
Nadal, who is yet to lose a set from his opening three rounds, will next face Maximilian Marterer after the German had earlier defeated lucky loser Jurgen Zopp 6-2 6-1 6-4. "All I know is about me", he said.
But Nadal said, "No, I don't remember him from then. But what I know is he's a player who is playing well, and as I said, when he played Zverev in the first round in Munich, he lost it, but he was very good". "Each time he is hitting the ball, you have a good picture.it is always a pleasure to shoot Rafa". Mertens won 6-3, 6-1 against No. 24 Daria Gavrilova. "He has power, so he's a risky opponent", said Nadal.
Other men's match-ups in the top half of the draw with quarterfinal berths at stake Monday: No. 3 Marin Cilic against No. 18 Fabio Fognini, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro against No. 9 John Isner, and No. 6 Kevin Anderson against No. 11 Diego Schwartzman.
Papa Francisco inicia con una Misa nuevas reuniones con víctimas chilenas
En la Argentina natal del pontífice, el "Nunca Más" alude al rechazo a la dictadura militar, 1976-1983, que dejó unos 30.000 desaparecidos.
The dudes abide. Sascha Zverev abide, becoming just the eighth player to win three consecutive five-setters at Roland Garros. "All the guys who are still alive in this tournament have big chance to go far, so now the tournament becomes more interesting to watch and to play".
No. 3 Marin Cilic eliminated Steve Johnson of the United States 6-3 6-2 6-4.
David Goffin saved four match points to close out his third-round tussle with Gael Monfils in just short of four hours after it was carried over from Friday.
Fognini, sporting an eye-catching red T-shirt with black thunderbolts on the front and back, beat 16th-seeded Briton Kyle Edmund 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Djokovic has been shaky at times, too. The Belgian will take on Italy's Marco Cecchinato for a place in the quarter-finals.
Unseeded Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation has reached the French Open's round of 16 for the second consecutive year, eliminating 15th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the resumption of a suspended match.