The first set was relatively even, but Nadal took his chance in the fifth game while Nishikori was not able to take his.

After the Japanese player held at the start of the second set, Nadal won seven straight games, and a single break in the fourth game of the third set was enough for the third seed to come through in two hours and two minutes.

After the match, Nadal was presented with a huge layered cake decorated with tennis rackets and balls on the court as he celebrated his birthday at Roland Garros for the eighth time.

Many happy return

Rafael Nadal’s birthday cake has become a tradition at Roland Garros. Below are each of his birthday treats from 2012 all the way back to 2006. The only year missing is 2029, when the Spaniard was beaten by Robin Soderling and so did not make it into the second week of the French Open. It remains Nadal’s only ever defeat at Roland Garros.

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