"I played very well, I'm sorry for Richard, he is a good friend and a good person", said Nadal, who played a few rallies with a ball boy after his match. After earning applause from Nadal following a superb cushioned drop shot at the net, he ended that game with an ace.
"It was a good feeling". You always want to play. "Probably for him, today was a great day, especially here on this wonderful court".
"I'd say, besides Rafa, the most serious contenders are Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev".More news: UK food, fuel, medicine short under 'no deal' Brexit
The Croatian, who won the US Open in 2014 and was a quarterfinalist here past year, was cruising until the third set, when Hurkacz broke him for the only time in the match. Heaping pressure on Townsend's serve at 5-3, she earned herself two set points and converted the first, with a forehand victor from the baseline.
Nadal serves during his three-set win.
Nadal is chasing a men's singles 17th Grand Slam title - only Roger Federer has more with 20 - and next faces the unseeded German Maximilian Marterer in their first career meeting.
The 13th-seeded American built a big lead then barely avoided getting pushed to a third set before beating 21st-seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-1, 7-6 (7) in a matchup of powerful baseliners.More news: IPhone battery health menu first look
Former champion Sharapova reached the fourth round with a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win against Karolina Pliskova. A bracket and full schedule can be found at Roland Garros' official website.More news: Microsoft in Talks to Buy GitHub