Nadal breaks McEnroe record to reach Madrid quarters

Published by AAP / Tennismash

Nadal has not dropped a set on clay since Rome last year; Getty Images
World No.1 Rafael Nadal extends his winning run to reach the Madrid quarterfinals, but Juan Martin del Potro is beaten by Dusan Lajovic.

Rafael Nadal broke John McEnroe’s record for consecutive set wins on a single surface as he moved into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.

Nadal beat Argentina’s Diego 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.

It was also the Spaniard’s 21st consecutive win on clay, stretching back to last year’s Rome quarterfinal defeat by Dominic Thiem.

“I really don’t think much about that,” Nadal told atpworldtour.com.

“All these things, probably after I finish my career will be the time to think about it. I won a difficult match against a very difficult player that played well.”

Nadal, who is looking for a sixth career Madrid Open title, broke Schwartzman in the sixth game of each set and appeared to be on course for a comfortable win.

World No.16 Schwartzman served up a minor scare by breaking back for 4-4 in the second set, but Nadal responded immediately and closed out for a history-making win.

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

Coric served for the match at 5-4 in the second set and also had three break point chances in the eighth game of the decider before Thiem held his nerve to claim victory.

Earlier, World No.6 Juan Martin del Potro crashed out after Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic fought back from a set down to beat the Argentine 3-6 6-4 7-6(6) in the third round.

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

Britain’s Kyle Edmund followed up his surprise win over Novak Djokovic by defeating world No.10 David Goffin to reach the last eight of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career.

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.

“I managed my game very well,” the Briton said. “My game is better the better I manage it and pick the moments not to be aggressive.

“If I don’t pull the trigger too often, then I play well. It’s about being controlled and relaxed and not worrying too much. Goffin is a top player so I’m very pleased.

“My new trick is to try and continue that momentum and not just have a good win and not back it up.”

Edmund will next face Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov, who achieved a 6-4 6-4 win over compatriot Milos Raonic.

Second seed Alexander Zverev beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-2 and will next face seventh seed John Isner, who beat Pablo Cuevas 6-7(9) 7-6(3) 7-6(4).

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