Record-breaking Nadal brings up half-century, Lajovic stuns del Potro

Dominic Thiem 'It was fun to play doubles with Juan Martin del Potro'

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.

Nadal's 50 sets have included tournament wins in Barcelona, Monte Carlo and last year's French Open.

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 past year, at the quarter-final stage.

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.

"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there forever", Nadal said.

"Let's not talk about that any more and let's focus on what we have ahead". "It was a very solid match in all aspects". Two more sets and he would eclipse John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets on any one surface. EPA-EFE/JUANJO MARTINAustria's Dominic Thiem serves against Argentinia's Federico Delbonis during their men's single round of 32 match of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 09 May 2018.

It was not a vintage Nadal performance early on but he once again had too much for Monfils, registering a 14th win over the flamboyant Frenchman.

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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.

Also, Dusan Lajovic fought back from 0-4 in the decisive tiebreaker to stun fourth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his first career win against a top-10 ranked player.

In the quarter-finals, Lajovic will meet South Africa's Kevin Anderson who overcame German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).

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

"There are obvious things that are not working well for me, But I have to keep working on them and pray that.and hope that my game will get stronger." the 12-time Grand Slam winning Serbian 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.

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