World no. 1, Rafael Nadal, on Thursday, defeated Diego Schwartzman to reach the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open and in the process went 50 consecutive sets unbeaten, shattering John McEnroe’s 49 set in 1984. Nadal’s exploit is now a new record for all surfaces.
The 32-year-old Spaniard, who’s well on course for a sixth title in Madrid, wrapped up a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Argentinian in an hour and 44 minutes to set up a quarterfinal clash against Dominic Thiem, who bounced back from a first set defeat to stun Borna Coric 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Dominic Thiem is the last man to win a set and a match against Nadal on clay.
In other matches, Juan Martin del Potro was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 by Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, who will now play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals. Anderson made progress with straight sets victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, winning 6-3, 7-6.
In the women’s field, world no. 1, Simona Halep’s hopes of defending her title and claiming a first title this year were dashed after Karolina Pliskova got the better of her with a 6-4, 6-3 win. The defeat was Halep’s first defeat at the Madrid Open in three years.
Meanwhile, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova missed out on what would have been only her second semi-final this year as Kiki Bertens rallied back from a set down to win 4-6 6-2 6-3, while seventh-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2 6-3 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.