Nadal Smashes McEnroe Record In Madrid

Nadal Wins 21st Straight On Clay, 50th Consecutive Set, Faces Thiem In Madrid QFs

Nadal Wins 21st Straight On Clay, 50th Consecutive Set, Faces Thiem In Madrid QFs

Schwartzman was pretty much powerless on the return in the opening three games of the second set (Nadal has won 27 out of 33 points since that break point that Diego earned) and Rafa broke him in the fifth game after a forehand down the line victor, moving closer to the finish line and to another record.

The world No. 1 downed Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 44 minutes to advance to the Madrid Open quarter-finals - where he will face Dominic Thiem - and claim a little piece of history in the process.

Nadal, who is looking for a sixth career Madrid Open title, broke Schwartzman in the sixth game of each set and appeared to be on course for a comfortable win.

"I'm happy to start with a victory", said Nadal, whose last loss on the dirt came against Dominic Thiem in Rome a year ago.

"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there forever", Nadal said. "Let's not talk about that any more and let's continue on what we have ahead which is what I am concerned about".

Nadal has now won 21 matches in a row on clay since Thiem beat him in the last eight at the Internazionali d'Italia 12 months ago. Two more sets and he would eclipse John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets on any one surface. "Tomorrow is a key match in the tournament".

"You find a new stat", Nadal laughed after being told of the record following his win against Gael Monfils in the previous round.

Sharapova also lost in three sets to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands while Halep, the champion in 2016 and 2017, was blown away by Karolina Pliskova.

"These moments I don't go out there and think about these kind of things".

Nadal took the opening set easily over Schwartzman having broken the Argentine's serve in the sixth game.

Zverev will now come up against Isner, a 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) victor against Pablo Cuevas on a bad day for the South Americans, in a rematch of the Miami Open final won by the American. He will play German Alexander Zverev, who beat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-2. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCAFrance's Kristina Mladenovic in action during her women's third round single match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 09 May 2018.

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