Paris: Last year`s losing finalist David Ferrer reached the last 16 of the French Open for the sixth time by defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 on Saturday.
The fifth seed from Spain had little difficulty in dispatching a player he had taken on six times previously and not dropped a single set.
He will now go on to take on 19th seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa who moved through when opponent Ivo Karlovic of Croatia retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-3.
With 35-year-old Karlovic measuring 2.11m (6ft 11in) and Anderson 2.03m (6ft 8in) their towering showdown out on Court 2 had been billed as the tallest match in Grand Slam history, but it lasted only 43 minutes.
Anderson also reached the last 16 last year in Paris, the first South African to do so since Wayne Ferreira in 1996.
At 32, Ferrer was one of 10 men aged 30 or over to reach the third round, the most at any Grand Slam event since 1978 Wimbledon when there were 12.
The highest number of players aged 30 or over through to the round of 16 at Roland Garros was eight in 1969.
American hopes of having three players through to the last 16 for the first time since 1995, when Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Jim Courier reached that stage, were shattered when Jack Sock lost 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.
John Isner made the fourth round on Friday and Donald Young has the chance to join him later Saturday when he needs to defeat Spain`s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Top seed Rafael Nadal was scheduled to play second on the Philippe Chatrier centre-court with his opponent being Argentinian Leonardo Mayer.
Nadal, who will turn 28 on Tuesday, is aiming to become the first player to win the French Open five times in a row and also the first player to win nine titles at the same Grand Slam.
His record at Roland Garros since 2005 is 61 wins for one loss, that coming against Robin Soderling of Sweden in a 2009 fourth round match.
Andy Murray is also due to be in action later Saturday going up against Germany`s Philipp Kohlschreiber, who won a tournament on clay in Dusseldorf last weekend.
The British seventh seed`s best showing to date at Roland Garros is a semi-final appearance in 2011 when he lost to Nadal. He missed last year`s tournament through a back injury.
French interest was high on Saturday with Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet both hoping to join Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round.
Monfils was playing Italian 14th seed Fabio Fognini and Gasquet had Spanish 24th seed Fernando Verdasco.