(AFP) – Rafael Nadal won his 50th consecutive set on clay on Thursday to break John McEnroe’s 34-year record and beat Diego Schwartzman at the Madrid Open.
Rafa’s comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory moves him into the quarter-finals in the Spanish capital and means he sets a new Open era best for the longest streak of victorious sets on a single surface.
McEnroe’s 49-set winning streak on carpet in 1984 included him clinching the Madrid Indoor Open title and Rafa may well be about to follow suit.
He will play Austria’s Dominic Thiem on Friday for a place in the last four.
Rafa had insisted before the match this latest milestone had barely crossed his mind but if nothing else, it is testament to the 31-year-old’s relentless consistency over the past 12 months.
The run includes tournament triumphs in Barcelona, Monte Carlo and last year’s French Open, where he will be the clear favourite later this month to claim a 17th major crown.
Schwartzman, ranked 16th in the world, briefly threatened a comeback on Manolo Santana court when he broke back at 4-3 in the second set.
But the Argentinian double-faulted to give his opponent a second break in the very next game, as Rafa sealed a straight-forward victory in an hour and 44 minutes.
VICTORY! AGAIN AND AGAIN! VAMOS RAFA!
Rafa well done for your great match against Deigo.
All the very best for your game against Dominic.
Love and prayers,
Very well played match, good job and congratulation on breaking john mac records keep playing aggressive and win QF.GOOD LUCK
Rafa I wach your much ,you play very well vamossssssssssss champ the king of Clay all the love from your FANS🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍❤️🏆
50 sets in a row are just amazing. So happy for you <3 Good luck for tomorrow. Vamos Rafa <3
I was hoping for a Nadal/DelPo final, but to complement Va4Favre’s observation of DelPo on clay, this is what JMDP had to say after his loss today to Lajović, “Rome is another opportunity for me to feel good on clay, which is of course one of the surfaces which is more tricky for me because of the feet movement because the rallies are a little bit longer. You have to try to make winners all the time more than other surfaces. You also need to have a big serve.
But I’m playing well. Tomorrow I can try to train again and I don’t have to worry about anything physical. I’m in shape.”
It still hasn’t been confirmed yet but Andy may not make the grass season. His mum told reporters he’s still not 100%.
Margo, I was watching the Shapovalov v Raonic match, so I did not see as much of Delpo’s match as I wanted. I had a feeling that Lajović might upset Delpo since he is just starting the clay season. Thiem will be tough tomorrow, but Rafa is playing great. I thought he had too many UFEs today, but he will be sharper tomorrow.
va4favre, re DelPo … I was stilling hoping. But his statement, as you can see, seems to point to other things too regarding clay. You get a good read on these guys as I just look for things Rafa in my searches.
What concerns me today is that Rafa admitting to becoming nervous when Diego started playing so well. His opponents will be looking for any competitive edge to beat him. As an athlete he may have wanted to keep that to himself.
Some days are always better than others. He is ready for any challenger.
here you go.. he was short and fast and agressive from what i saw didnt seem to be afraid of rafa now i am gona watch
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Enhorabuena!!! Por tuvictoria con un jugador complicado para ganarle…suertepara el restos d tu partidos…..