Madrid Open 2018: Rafael Nadal Off To Winning Start
11 May, 2018, 05:06
After his routine dismantling of Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1 in the second round in Madrid, Rafael Nadal was asked to reflect on his astounding streak of 48 consecutive sets won on clay.
This was Nadal's 14th win in a row on clay this season and he has broken another huge Open era record, winning his 50th consecutive set on clay to pass John McEnroe who claimed 49 on the carpet back in 1984, in one of the greatest Open era seasons.
He will next play Austria's Dominic Thiem who got the better of Borna Coric.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion is seeking his sixth title in Madrid after taking his trophy hauls at Monte Carlo and Barcelona to 11 apiece.
"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there forever", Nadal said. "But I've done it. Let's not talk about that any more and let's continue on what we have ahead".
While new records are always just around the corner, the world No. 1 is focused on titles.
"On this surface, (Thiem) is one of the most risky players you can face", Nadal said. Although Nadal's head to head of 6-2, the pair have only ever met on the clay, with Thiem managing the wins in Buenos Aires (2016) and in Rome (2017).
While Nadal marched on, the top women's players continued to struggle after top-ranked Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova both lost in the quarterfinals.
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The 31-year-old said there is still a way to go as she gears up for Roland Garros.
Elsewhere, Dusan Lajovic earned the biggest win of his career, battling back from a set down to knock out fourth seed Juan Martin Del Potro.
Nadal took the opening set easily over Schwartzman having broken the Argentine's serve in the sixth game.
"I don't know if these kind of records are very important", he said, before adding, "I don't say I don't care because it's better to have these kind of things than don't have it".
In the quarter-finals, Lajovic will meet South Africa's Kevin Anderson who overcame German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).
Kiki Bertens came from behind to beat Sharapova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Halep, who has won the tournament for the last two years, had looked imperious on her way to the last eight, dropping only nine games in three matches including Wednesday's win against Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna.
The 20-year-old was also a likely member of Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation . The 20-year-old's season is over after an operation to correct a long-standing ankle injury.
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So when you find one of them you have to value and you have to keep and in this case is not about me, it is about the club. Paul Ince summed up Sir Alex perfectly when he admitted that he was "the only person who knew me better than me".
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But while she exudes charisma and energy onstage, the We Got Love songstress admitted: 'I'm not that confident every day'. It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB "BNS".
Washington will hope the Swede can return for Game 7 or, in case of a Game 6 win, the first game of the Eastern Conference finals. Defenseman Victor Hedman is a finalist for the Norris Trophy after he scored 17 goals with 46 assists in 77 games.
James Paxton Couldn't Be Hit. Dylan Bundy Couldn't Get an Out
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