Rafael Nadal took his record over close friend Richard Gasquet to a perfect 18-0 with a 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 victory to stay on course for a 23rd Grand Slam title.

Nadal has now won 34 straight sets against Frenchman Gasquet who he first played as a junior.
Nadal has now won 34 straight sets against Frenchman Gasquet who he first played as a junior. (Reuters)

Rafael Nadal has defeated close friend Richard Gasquet for the 18th time to reach the US Open fourth round as world number one Iga Swiatek made the last 16 for a second successive year.

Four-time champion Nadal took his record over Gasquet to a perfect 18-0 with a 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 victory on Saturday to stay on course for a 23rd Grand Slam title.

Nadal has now won 34 straight sets against Frenchman Gasquet who he first played as a junior.

On Saturday, he was barely troubled, winning the first nine games of the contest before Gasquet got on the board.

Next up for the Australian and French Open champion is 22nd seed Frances Tiafoe for a place in the quarter-finals.

"He's a great player, very charismatic, very fast," said Nadal of the American.

Tiafoe made the last 16 for a third successive year by seeing off Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-4.

The 36-year-old Nadal showed no ill effects of the bloodied nose he suffered when he accidentally bounced his racquet into his face in the second round.

"It's a little bit bigger than usual but it's okay," he joked.

READ MORE: Nadal struggles to win US Open match against Fognini, reaches third round

Swiatek downs Davis

World number one Swiatek downed unseeded Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-4.

Swiatek came back from 1-4 down in the second set to reel off five successive games against the American who called a medical time out in the first set to have her blood pressure taken.

The 21-year-old Pole will face Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier of Germany for a place in the last eight.

Swiatek has now won three matches in a row for the first time since capturing her second French Open in June.

"It's not like I lost confidence or something. I still know anything can happen on these tournaments," she said.

READ MORE: Nadal beats wildcard Hijikata to reach US Open second round

Source: AFP