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

Madrid Open 2018: Rafael Nadal Off To Winning Start

Rafael Nadal's remarkable run on clay showed no sign of stopping at the Madrid Open on Tuesday as he beat Gael Monfils 6-3 6-1 in the second round.

Nadal beat Argentina's Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 on the clay to take his winning set streak to 50 and eclipse McEnroe's total which the American achieved on carpet in 1984.

McEnroe also won the Madrid Open Indoor title that year and Nadal may be about to follow suit in the Spanish capital, with Austrian Dominic Thiem up next in the quarter-finals on Friday. It's hard to be able to win 50 sets in a row.

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.

Rafael Nadal has broken John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on the same surface in Thursday's victory over Diego Schwartzman in the third round of the Madrid Open. "But I've done it. Let's not talk about that any more and let's continue on what we have ahead".

"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".

The 23-year-old broke his Belgian opponent's serve twice in the opening set and once in the second, to seal a 6-3, 6-3 victory in an hour and 12 minutes.

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. He will play German Alexander Zverev, who beat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-2.

Halep lost to Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3, ending her bid to become a three-time consecutive champion in Madrid.

Lajovic is up against South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson next, who defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 7-6 (7) earlier in the day.

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. But there's a reason I came up short today, " Sharapova, languishing down at 52 in the rankings, said.

Djokovic, who kicked off his campaign with straight sets win over Japan's Kei Nishikori, failed to bounce back from a set down and slumped to a 3-6, 6-2, 3-6 defeat against Edmund.

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