PARIS — His hair is thinning on top. His knees can be shaky. In January, he suddenly came down with a balky back that almost forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open.
And yet, with his win Monday over Jannik Sinner of Italy, a 19-year-old rising star, Rafael Nadal surged into the final eight once again at the tournament he has essentially owned since 2005. It’s just that he owns it in a different way than he used to.
Nadal was not perfect Monday in his 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 win. He was down 5-3 in the first set before winning four straight games.