Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot


Since returning from an injury that he had incurred at the Australian Open quarters against Marin Cilic, the Mallorcan has maintained a top-notch form on the red dirt to claim his eleventh title in Monte Carlo and then in Barcelona.

World number six Juan Martin del Potro crashed out of the tournament after Serbia's Dusan Lajovic came back from a set down to beat the Argentine 3-6 6-4 7-6 (6) in the third round. I beat an opponent who is hard.

Rafael Nadal remains unstoppable on his favorite clay surface, entering the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 13th seed Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.

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

The world number one produced another imperious performance to make history once again and will face Dominic Thiem, the last man to beat him on the red dirt in Rome previous year, at the quarter-final stage.

Nadal's straight-sets victory means he establishes a new Open era best for consecutive sets won on a single surface, passing McEnroe's 49 on carpet in 1984.

"Let's not talk about that any more and let's focus on what we have ahead". "I still am not believing it 100 percent, but I know I deserved to win today".

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Britain's Kyle Edmund followed up his surprise win over Novak Djokovic by defeating world number 10 David Goffin to reach the last eight of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career.

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

"I managed my game very well", the Briton said.

The women's defending champions and top seed, Simona Halep brushed past qualifier Krystina Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in just 75 minutes, but the second seed Caroline Wozniacki surprisingly lost 6-2, 6-2 to Kiki Bertens, who is now ranked 21st in the world.

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

"It was great to get those wins against those players", said Sharapova, the 2014 champion in Madrid.