Nadal leads charge of old brigade into quarter-finals
London: Rafael Nadal reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the seventh time on Monday as the evergreen 30-somethings of men's tennis threatened to take a stranglehold at the All England Club.
Third seed Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, swept to an easy 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over outclassed Joao Sousa of Portugal.
He will next play either Sam Querrey or Tennys Sandgren in what will be his 39th appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final.
The 33-year-old Spaniard is chasing his 19th title at the majors, which would put him just one behind the all-time record of 20 held by Roger Federer -- his potential opponent in the semi-finals.
"It was a good, solid match. It's true that the serve probably didn't work as good as two days ago," said Nadal, who had been equally ruthless in the third round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga when he lost just seven games.
"A lot of positive things out there. To be back in the quarter-finals is great news for me.
"Happy to be where I am and the body is holding well, playing some good tennis -- and straight sets helps."
Also joining Nadal in the last-eight was his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut who reached his first Wimbledon quarter-final and second at the majors this year when he defeated France's Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. The 31-year-old world number 22 will face either 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic of Canada or Argentina's Guido Pella for a place in the semi-finals.
Bautista Agut, who has now defeated Paire seven times in seven meetings, also made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January.
Meanwhile, defending champion Novak Djokovic too reached his 11th Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday and 45th at the majors with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over France's Ugo Humbert. Four-time champion and top seed Djokovic will face Belgium's David Goffin for a place in the semi-finals.
Djokovic, 32, has a 5-1 career record over 21st seed Goffin who will be playing in his first Wimbledon quarter-final. Humbert, the world number 66, had never played a match on grass before this season.