Nadal breaks McEnroe's 34-year-old set record

Rafael Nadal

In the second set, it looked as though McEnroe's record could hold firm when a fired up Schwartzman won six points in a row to break back and level matters at 4-4.

World No.1 Tennis player Rafael Nadal registered his 20 consecutive win on clay court as he defeated Gael Monfils of France by 6-3, 6-1 on Wednesday at the Madrid Open.

Rafael Nadal has broken John McEnroe's record for consecutive set wins on a single surface, in advancing into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Tennis Open.

The Spaniard is looking for a sixth Madrid Open title.

"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there for always".

"Let's not talk about that any more and let's focus on what we have ahead". Schwartzman had to play against the break points in the very first game of the match, fending off the first with a service victor and the second when Nadal netted a forehand to avoid an early setback.

Russian former world No.1 Sharapova has shown only flashes of the play that has earned her five grand slam titles since returning from a doping ban previous year. EPA-EFE/JUANJO MARTINAustria's Dominic Thiem serves against Argentinia's Federico Delbonis during their men's single round of 32 match of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 09 May 2018.

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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. 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).

Halep said: "Today she didn't miss".

Thiem fought back from a set-and-a-break down against Borna Coric to book his spot against Nadal with a 2-6 7-6 6-4 win.

In the quarter-finals, Lajovic will meet South Africa's Kevin Anderson who overcame German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).

Prior to the match, Nadal had brushed off the significance of overtaking McEnroe's total against the Argentine.

"I missed in some important moments, that's why it went her way but I'm not very disappointed about this match".

"There are obvious things that are not working well for me, But I have to keep working on them and pray that.and hope that my game will get stronger." the 12-time Grand Slam winning Serbian said.

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