"He hits the ball so quick but I believe I played my best match in a while".
"That he's a great guy and a great player", the sixth-seeded Thiem said after beating the 25th-seeded American 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
The second seed, now joint third on the all-time list for most wins at Roland Garros with 58, was on the backfoot for much of the match, allowing the Argentine to dictate the pace from the baseline.
The brutality of Nadal's destruction of the Georgian on the Roland Garros main showcourt was withering.
As for Basilashvili, now ranked at 63 in the world, it's been a reasonably strong start to the French Open, played on his favoured surface. Indeed, his 100th best-of-five-set match on clay was also the most lopsided.
- After Goffin briefly received off-court treatment, the chair umpire announced that the Belgian had to abandon the match.
"The score is quite embarrassing, you know, but I have to accept it".
"He wanted to talk the possibility of working and I said listen, maybe I can help you over the phone, I don't think you need much, but this is not possible for me with the balance of my life".
Yet Basilashvili is no rookie: Nadal did this to him.
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In the women's singles event, defending champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain made it through to the fourth round.
But David Goffin, one of the form players of the clay-court swing, was forced to retire at 5-4 in the first set against Argentina's Horacio Zeballos when he injured his ankle sliding into a tarp at the back of the court.
Raonic also benefitted from a retirement, the Canadian fifth seed 6-1 1-0 up when Garcia-Lopez had to pull out due to a thigh injury.
Grisly for everyone except the fourth-seeded Spaniard.
That seemed to melt the steel in the Bulgarian's game, and he speared a backhand into the net to concede the first set and the second and the third.
Muguruza will next face either Shelby Rogers of the United States or 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France. Zeballos carried Goffin's bag.
An early break from Djokovic got things off to a good start, with the Serb making the Argentine work hard for every point on his own serve.
Evergreen Venus Williams remains in contention for a shot at a maiden French Open crown, with a 6-3 6-1 third-round demolition of Elise Mertens.