Nadal breaks McEnroe's record to reach Madrid quarters

Madrid Open 2018: Rafael Nadal Off To Winning Start

RAFAEL NADAL, CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, & MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2018 MADRID TENNIS OPEN

BC-TEN-Madrid Open, 5th Ld-Writethru, 626 Nadal breaks McEnroe's mark of straight sets won on surfaceAP Photo FS132, FS134, FS135, FS115, PW104, FS102Eds: Adds Nadal quotes, details, late result.

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.

The 16-time grand slam champion will face Dominic Thiem, the last man to beat him on clay at the Internazionali d'Italia in 2017, in the last eight as he attempts to win the tournament for a sixth time and claim a third consecutive title following his triumphs in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Spanish player Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Gael Monfils of France at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, 09 May 2018.

"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there forever", Nadal said. "I think I played one of my best matches this year for sure, and for sure on clay in my life".

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"Let's not talk about that any more and let's focus on what we have ahead".

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

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.

Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens continued her impressive week as she backed up a third-round win over world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki to beat Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals.

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.

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Zverev will now come up against Isner, a 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) victor against Pablo Cuevas on a bad day for the South Americans, in a rematch of the Miami Open final won by the American.

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

"I think I can improve a lot of things towards Rome and Roland Garros", Del Potro said.

Nadal must have forgotten what it feels like to go to the distance, though, and a double fault from Schwartzman put the Mallorca native back in front and he was jumping for joy after serving out the match to make history.

Second seed Zverev showed no signs of tiredness as he cruised past Mayer 6-4 6-2 in only 70 minutes.

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