Nadal breaks incredible McEnroe record in Madrid

Nadal breaks incredible McEnroe record in Madrid

Nadal breaks incredible McEnroe record in Madrid

The world number 16 briefly threatened a comeback by breaking back for 4-4 in the second set, but the Spaniard responded immediately and closed out for a record-setting victory.

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.

Nadal extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive sets on clay, eclipsing the mark McEnroe established on carpet in 1984.

Nadal will now face the player he beat in last year's final, Dominic Thiem, after the fifth seed came from a set and a break down to edge out Croatian Borna Coric 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

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

"On this surface, (Thiem) is one of the most unsafe players you can face", Nadal said.

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.

Diego matched Nadal's numbers in the longest rallies but Rafa had the upper hand in the shortest and the mid-range rallies to win 13 points more than his rival.

"I think I played one of my best matches this year for sure, and for sure on clay in my life", the sixth-seeded Pliskova said.

The 31-year-old said there is still a way to go as she gears up for Roland Garros.

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

Kiki Bertens came from behind to beat Sharapova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The number 11 seed, Roberto Bautista Agut joined Djokovic in crashing out of the tournament as he was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 by German, Phillip Kolhschreiber, while number six seed Kevin Anderson progressed after a few scares with a 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 victory against qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin.

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

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